I was given this book by the author as a member of Rosie Amber’s review team in exchange for an honest review.
I gave A Kiss Before Killing 3* out of 5*
Each man kills the thing he loves…
Edward Marsham is admitted to the Royal Infirmary having hung himself in his prison cell.
As predicted, he dies.
In the wake of several unexpected deaths at the hospital, however, Dr. Claire Woodforde suspects there is a killer amongst the staff. As Detective Chief Inspector Beverley Wharton and her new sergeant Tom Bayes begin to investigate Marsham’s death, they too start to wonder if it was natural or whether someone…
helped him along.
But as they start to make headway on the case, something much more sinister comes to light.
A body is found in an empty house.
A body without its limbs. And head.
Dr. John Eisenmenger is tasked with examining the torso to uncover clues which will lead to its identity and cause of death; a grisly job even for the most hardened of pathologists.
But as the investigation unfolds, the team discovers that there is much, much worse to come, and in addition, there is growing suspicion that there is a link between the two cases.
This not-for-the-faint-hearted crime thriller shines a light into the darkest recesses of the human soul.
Fans of Patricia Cornwell, Tami Hoag and Tess Gerritsen will be hooked on A Kiss Before Killing.
Praise for A Kiss Before Killing
‘Pacey, well-written medical thriller … the suspense built so that I had to finish it in a sitting’ – Andrew Puckett, bestselling author of Sisters of Mercy
‘Dark and disturbing. Sharp and deliciously violent. A must read’ – Robert White, bestselling author of Breaking Bones
Praise for Keith McCarthy
‘McCarthy lays on the grisly detail with a practising doctor’s detached eye.’ – Publishers Weekly
‘McCarthy handles his material with real brio.’ – Crime Time
‘McCarthy excels at capturing his readers and not letting go until the shocking conclusion … Will appeal to fans of John Harvey’s crime novels’ Library Journal
Keith McCarthy was born in Croydon, Surrey. Educated at Dulwich College and then at St George’s Hospital Medical School, he began practising pathology in 1985 and has done so ever since. Keith is a Consultant Histopathologist in Gloucestershire where he lives with his wife and three daughters. in 1985 and has done so ever since. Keith is a Consultant Histopathologist in Gloucestershire where he lives with his wife and three daughters.
From the start it is obvious that the author knows a great deal about cadavers and forensics; there is a lot of detail about the dissection of bodies and the necessary criminal investigation. I didn’t mind reading about those sections; in fact I can deal with grisly as much as the next reader of this genre but it felt rather clinically shown so, as a reader, the dreadfulness of the murders, the horrendous dismemberment, was, for me, portrayed too clinically; there was something emotionally missing.
I liked some of the characters; most were multi – layered. Beverley Wharton is well rounded and the relationship between her and John Eisenmenger is interesting. And we get some insight into her sergeant, Tom Bayes and his background. We also get a good understanding of their professional environment. All of which shows that these characters and their relationships to one another could lead to further stories. But I couldn’t quite get a handle on the character of Dr. Claire Woodforde. (I did think this was perhaps what the author intended as, although portrayed as a professional person her interaction with other characters was hesitant and not what I would have expected)
On the whole the dialogue is realistic and shows who was speaking, though it is a little stilted, less realistic, at times.
It’s a good plot. And, generally, well told. The author has a good writing style that carries the story along. But there are too many cliches in the narrative and far too many metaphors and similes. (and these also slip over into the dialogue occasionally. Which would be fine if it were an idiosyncrasy of only one or two of the characters).
My whole problem with this book was with the editing and the proof reading. I think the book needs another good edit and, certainly, a more exact proofreading.
Once this is done I would certainly recommend A Kiss Before Killing.