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Roberts, Mark - 'What She Saw'
Trade Paperback: 384 pages (Feb. 2014) Publisher: Atlantic Books ISBN: 0857898329

This is the second book by talented Mark Roberts in his DCI Rosen series and is every bit as dark as his first one, THE SIXTH SOUL. Another nail-bitingly disturbing thriller, where not everything is at is seems at first and the truth is more tragic than you realize. Mark Roberts was a teacher for many years and his experience has given him an insight into the mind of the young person that adds an eerie authenticity to this first-rate novel.

To give you a taste, a child, Thomas, is set on fire in a car on a rough housing estate in London and the two witnesses to this dreadful deed are children. One, Macy, is a vulnerable ten-year-old girl from a poor home, who is chased from the scene by persons unknown and beaten up. Macy is an intelligent and articulate child and her testimony gives the police an excellent start into their investigation. Then there is Stevie Jensen, who rushes in and saves Thomas from the inferno and has the intelligence to ask him questions about who did this dreadful thing to him before the ambulance arrives.

DCI Rosen gets the sorry task of finding out who did this and why. After Stevie is murdered in a similar way, Rosen is sure that some sort of cult is involved and when "they" indicate that Rosen is next on their list, he starts to get really scared. Fearing for the lives of his wife and baby son more than his own, he sends them away to a safe house and prepares to meet the killer face to face.

I could give you more information but that will just spoil it for you. I also recommend that you don't read the blurb on the back of the book, as that gives away far too much. The book is so excellent it is better to read it without any hint of who the killer is and why they did it.

This is one of those stories that haunts you after you finish it. It's not too heavy a read, even though it is extremely well-written, and I finished it in a few days.

Highly Recommended.

Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland
March 2014

Amanda blogs at Old Dogs and New Tricks.

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 22/03/2014 15:25