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Cooper, N J - 'Face of the Devil'
Paperback: 400 pages (July 2011) Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd ISBN: 1849832862

FACE OF THE DEVIL covers ten days and is set mainly on the Isle of Wight where Suzie Gray is killed - just fifteen years old, stabbed to death within a short distance of her uncle's yacht.

With Olly, a young man with known psychological problems found at the scene of the crime, DCI Trench calls on forensic psychologist Karen Taylor to talk to him. But all Olly will say is 'I was keeping her from the devil'. But if Olly did stab Suzie, where is the murder weapon? Karen is also disturbed by the attitude of Olly's father who seems to just want his son locked up.

Karen has her own problems, in a relationship with Will, a brain surgeon she is still attracted to the moody DCI Charlie Trench. On the face of it Will is the better bet and everything he does, says he is the right man - so why don't I like him, why I am looking for him to make a mistake so I can say - ha! Yes, I knew it. Maybe it's just me because on the face of it Will is an all round good guy.

As Christmas approaches, Karen's life is complicated by calls from her mother asking when her brother Aiden is arriving from the USA. Aiden has agreed to go halves with Karen on the development of her old family holiday home. As Karen seeks to find a way to reach Olly and find out who did kill Suzie she makes a break through within her own life which points her in the right direction.

This is a probing psychological book that reaches out to the reader on two levels, that of an interesting mystery and a deeply fascinating psychological insight into family relationships.

Highly recommended.

Lizzie Hayes, England
June 2011

Lizzie blogs at
Promoting Crime Fiction.

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 26/06/2011 10:17