On the Bookshelf...

Dying Breath

Liz Mistry

The killer is closing in… can she find him before he finds her? When Detective Nikki Parekh receives a set of threatening postcards, she knows it can only mean one thing… The man who escaped arrest after murdering her mother two years ago is back. Each postcard has a similar message: You’re next Parekh. As the post marks on the cards gradually get closer to Bradford, Nikki must do everything she can to protect her family and catch the killer before it’s too late. But when human remains are found in a remote barn on the icy Yorkshire moors, Nikki’s attention is pulled away from her family. When a tattoo on the victim’s arm – the only means of identification – leads nowhere, the team have already met a dead end. Will the team be able to make a breakthrough before someone else gets hurt, and can Nikki finally get justice for her mother’s tragic death?

The Queen of Northern Noir is back with a brilliant new installment of Nikki Parekh. This series of books just gets better and better. Each book has upped the tension and the quality of the storylines has improved. This time Nikki's past, her father, is back on the scene in a big way. He threatens that which Nikki values most, her family. Set against a backdrop of the illegal dog fighting scene, the edginess is increased.

When Nikki finds out that her dad has been watching her family and her, she's horrified at what he might do. At the same time, her eldest daughter is involved in a relationship that she's trying to keep secret, putting her at risk of being harmed by Nikkis father. Her sidekick Sajid is about to take a promotion which will split them apart. It seems the world is collapsing inwards on Nikki.

I loved this book. It's dark and gritty, not my usual cup of tea. Somehow though I'm drawn into this series of books. The writing is a touch above other crime books. The characters are human, relatable, and of course the storylines are breathtaking, literally. The pace never lets up. Nikki is a flawed character, yet aren't all great protagonists? I'm anxiously waiting to find out what adventure Liz will plunge Nikki and her family into next. My favourite crime book of 2022.

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Review by
AJ Steel
March 23, 2023

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