Lost Souls by Chris Merritt @DrCJMerritt @Bookouture @NHolten40 #BookReview #BooksOnTour #BlogTour #NetGalleyCountdown #Book590

Posted February 13, 2021 by Zoé in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Lost Souls by Chris Merritt
Series: Detectives Lockhart and Green #3
Published by Bookouture on February 9 2021
Format: eARC
Source: Net Galley
Pages: 442
Also by this author: Last Witness, Life or Death, Bring Her Back, Last Witness, Life or Death, Bring Her Back, Last Witness , Life or Death, Knock Knock, Who's Next?, The New Home

Standing at the school gates, he waits until the last child leaves the safety of the playground. And then he follows at a distance, keeping to the shadows. Only he knows what’s going to happen next.

In a quiet church, on a busy London street, 12-year-old Donovan Blair is found dead. His hands are clasped together as if in prayer. Just hours ago, he was happily playing with his friends at school, but now his body is lifeless, and his killer is long gone.

Detective Dan Lockhart is working alone on his wife’s missing person’s case when he receives a call telling him to get to the crime scene at St Mary’s Church immediately.

Bringing in psychologist Dr Lexi Green to help profile the murderer, Dan is convinced that the killer has provided a clue by leaving the body in a prayer position, and Lexi agrees. As they try to get into the mind of the person responsible, another victim is found. A 13-year-old girl, left in a different church, posed in exactly the same way.

Fearing the murderer may already have another child in his sights, Dan and Lexi work together to establish links between the two deaths, and soon discover that not only were both children in care – they had attended the same school. And when it emerges that Lexi’s new boyfriend works there, things become difficult between her and Dan. How much can he tell Lexi about the case? And could she be at risk?

As Dan makes a breakthrough in the investigation, he receives devastating news about his wife, Jess. But with children’s lives at stake and Lexi in danger, Dan must put his personal emotions aside and chase the killer. Can he and Lexi work out who is behind the murders before another vulnerable child is taken?

Back with book 3 in the series of Lockhart and Green and things are getting real now! Yes, we have the horrific murders of the lost souls occurring but the real story is Lockhart’s missing wife, and boy is there a clanger in the works there!!

We see the investigation unfolding not just through Lockhart’s frustrations or Green’s profiling but also through Lucy’s and the sadistic murderer. I really did enjoy Lucy being more at the forefront, the investigation had become more personal for her with the children that were targetted that, shockingly she oversteps the mark. However, I liked this side of her because she was acting as any mother would have done. Protection of your children is key, above all else. I do worry however that her actions may just come and haunt her later on in the series.

Lockhart struggles more in this book, we feel the intensity of the case ramped up here because his personal life is trickling through. He has a boss breathing down his neck, which never helps but the lack of belief they hold is shocking. Lockhart yes does operate sometimes by his own rules but he gets the results we need. Although, that ending, well it might have just pushed him too far.

Each story by Chris gets darker and darker, and here he tackles a solemn subject. One that would worry parents, carers and people generally. The killer’s mindset is off-kilter, believing that they are working for the greater good when that clearly is not the case. It feels that in this chapter everyone is battling some kind of demon, where it be religious, history or just present-day relationship. Each character takes a battering in some way and has decisions to make that could and will alter their future. Always makes for an interesting read for us the reader. The conflict that these characters here and the decisions they make in effect make us the jury on their decisions. We hold the power in our minds to decide if what they are doing is right or wrong, and if it is wrong is it for the right decisions. As you can see this book offers a lot more than just a murder investigation, we have thinking to do!

One thing I loved is the number of red herrings that are thrown in here. I had someone in mind for the murders, I would have in fact happily pinned my money on them, but nope I was proven wrong and I fell at the last hurdle. The scary thing to take away from this story, is sometimes they hide in plain sight!

This story begins and ends with Dan Lockhart, I do worry for the people who are about to enter his crosshairs because he is not someone you want to be on the wrong side of for sure. It is another strong instalment in the series and I can’t wait to see where we go next. Hopefully Lockhart and Green might get a nice sunny holiday at some point!

Until next time xxx

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About Chris Merritt

Chris Merritt is a British author whose crime thrillers combine psychology, suspense, and characters you care about.

All his novels are set in London, where he lives. He began writing fiction in 2014, after previous careers as a diplomat, based in Iraq and Jerusalem, and later as a psychologist working with victims and perpetrators of crime. He specialised in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which sparked his interest in telling stories about how people cope when faced with extreme adversity.

Now he spends most of his time writing novels and drinking coffee while *thinking* about writing novels. When he’s not writing, he loves climbing and playing basketball.

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4 responses to “Lost Souls by Chris Merritt @DrCJMerritt @Bookouture @NHolten40 #BookReview #BooksOnTour #BlogTour #NetGalleyCountdown #Book590

  1. Excellent review Zoe. I am looking forward to this one after reading #2 awhile ago. I like that his wife’s mystery might get solved.