Book Review: A Life for a Life by Carol Wyer

Back in March, I took part in the blog tour for A Life for a Life but I was unable to write a full review due to bereavement. I’ve now finished the book and WOW it’s an absolute corker! Check out my first impressions and then my review!

Synopsis

Nobody can get into the mind of an erratic killer—except an unpredictable detective.

When a young man is found lying on a station platform with a hole in his head, DI Kate Young is called in to investigate the grisly murder. But the killing is no one-off. As bodies start to pile up, she is faced with what might be an impossible task—to hunt down a ruthless killer on a seemingly random rampage.

Meanwhile, Kate has her own demons to battle as she struggles to come to terms with her husband’s death. And she is hell-bent on exposing corruption within the force and bringing Superintendent John Dickson to justice. But with the trail of deception running deeper—and closer to home—than she could ever have imagined, she no longer knows who she can trust.

With her grip on reality slipping, Kate realises that maybe she and the killer are not so different after all. But time is running out and Kate is low on options. Can she catch the killer before she loses everything?

About The Author

USA Today bestselling author and winner of The People’s Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer’s crime novels have sold over one million copies and been translated into nine languages.

A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in Little Girl Lost and proved that Carol had found her true niche.

February 2021 saw the release of the first in the much-anticipated new series, featuring DI Kate Young. An Eye For An Eye was chosen as a Kindle First Reads and became the #1 bestselling book on Amazon UK and Amazon Australia. 

Carol has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’, featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post. She’s also been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television.

She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband Mr. Grumpy… who is very, very grumpy. When she is not plotting devious murders, she can be found performing her comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth.

To learn more, go to http://www.carolwyer.co.uk, subscribe to her YouTube channel, or follow her on Twitter: @carolewyer

Follow her at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carol-E-Wyer/221149241263847 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolwyer/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/carolewyer 

Website : https://www.carolwyer.co.uk

First Impressions

I loved the preceding books in this series (An Eye for an Eye and A Cut for a Cut which I reviewed last year), so I was super excited to see the email from Zooloo’s Book Tours about the latest instalment.

What I love about this series is the character of DI Kate Young and her small band of talented detectives. The characters are well-rounded, all with flaws but totally loveable. The thread of the death of Kate’s husband (the circumstances of which are revealed in An Eye for an Eye) make for a fantastic sub-plot throughout the series, complimenting the main action of each crime they are trying to solve.

A Cut for a Cut see Kate trying to piece together corruption that her husband was trying to uncover and the events from that book are playing out in A Life for a Life. If you enjoy the trope of the slightly maverick and unpredictable detective, then this series is certainly for you. Because this subplot plays quite an important part in understanding the MCs trajectory, I would definitely recommend starting at the beginning of the series to get the full tour-de-force that Carol Wyer presents. I mentioned in my review of A Cut for a Cut that I could see this series being adapted for TV by the likes of Jed Mercurio (Line of Duty). I stand by this assertion wholeheartedly.

So far in A Life for a Life, Kate and her team are investigating a series of murders which are apparently random, in which a person has been killed using a bolt gun. The prologue featured a family who were involved in a car accident, the outcome of which was left hanging. As well as multiple POVs from the detectives, there is also the POV of the killer, something which has featured in other books in the series. I find this incredibly engrossing as it is perfect for people like me who like to piece together the crime.

So far, I’m absolutely loving A Life for a Life. Will it be another 5 star read for me?! Fingers crossed!

My Thoughts

The DI Kate Young series has definitely cemented itself as one of my favourite crime series. If you are a crime fan, and you haven’t read them yet, seriously pick them up!

Following on from my first impressions, my desire to piece together the crime was definitely realised in A Life for a Life. Trying to talk about this without spoilers is a little tricky but I will do my best. In the final third of the book as all the pieces start falling in to place, there was a palpable tension. Carol Wyer’s writing is just brilliant at creating suspense and intrigue.

I loved the parallels between Kate’s difficulties and those of the perpetrator. It’s a brilliant plot point playing into the trope of the tortured detective. What I adore about this book, and indeed the series, is the depth of character development. The side characters are just as important to the story as Kate and the crime she is investigating.

My only slight annoyance with this book is definitely more my fault than that of the book; understanding the secondary plot of Kate’s investigation is a long running storyline and does involve remembering what happened in the previous books so that you can understand exactly what each person has done and the implications. It has been a while since I read books 1 and 2 so it did take me a little while to recall what happened and who was involved where. Nonetheless, it does make for an excellent series.

Finally, OH MY GOD THE CLIFFHANGER!!!!!! GET ME BOOK 4 NOW!! I cannot wait for the next instalment.

Links

Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Detective-Kate-Young-Book-ebook/dp/B09BCPR894

Amazon US : https://www.amazon.com/Life-Detective-Kate-Young-Book-ebook/dp/B09BCPR894

20 thoughts on “Book Review: A Life for a Life by Carol Wyer

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