Published by Bloodhound Books on January 4 2021
When Detective Inspector David Coates is tasked with finding the killer of a woman found naked and strangled in a bin in undergrowth in East Sussex, he has no idea what he is about to face.
With little to go on, he hopes the hummingbird tattoo on the victim’s abdomen will help solve the mystery of her identity.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Georgina Shaw, a minor celebrity, receives a message from one of her followers who calls himself Elf Man.
When DI Coates discovers that the DNA on the dead woman’s body belongs to Arthur Peebles, a man who went to prison for murder sixteen years earlier, the investigation is thrown into question.
As Elf Man closes in on Georgina, DI Coates realises that the key to the case lies in Australia.
Is there a link between Elf Man and the body in the bin?
Could Arthur Peebles, now a free man, be up to his old tricks?
My first book read for 2021 and what a blinking belter of a book. It was a terrifying assault of privacy for sure, I have always wondered who we are actually talking to on the other side of the internet. In this case, he was a crazy man from the outset so we never had to worry who was behind this atrocious acts of fear and it was not about the why he was doing, it was more of the when and if he would be caught!!! That is all I kept fearing.
I don’t want to talk about the story as much as I want to, because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but I must talk about the setting! I loved the setting of Australia! I loved being in the sunshine and on the beach. It made up for the cold weather on the beach here! Life is so different in Australia, life made by being a surfer, influencer and a weight lifter/trainer and that is just the women. Enjoying the high lives that their fame and their partner’s fame brings to the table too, you can’t help but be slightly jealous of the 6 of them and also worried because obviously, something is going to happen, I mean why we would be reading about them?! The main lady we follow is Georgina, as she is targeted thanks to a prank going completely wrong one night.
From the get-go, that dark cloud has followed me, opening with a gruesome murder in Sussex, in the cold winter you know something is going to go horribly wrong. DI David Coates is our guy in the Uk, although he is not in the story much, as we are living in Oz, yet at the back of my mind, I was screaming for Coates to chivvy along and get his bags packed. We follow George and her awful awful friends. I am not even joking when I saw they are awful, they have been friends for a long time but the boyfriends are up to no good, the girls are all jealous of each other. I believe Amelia even goes as far as to say that if George was more famous they wouldn’t be friends. She revelled in the fact she wiped out in a competition, I mean who needs friends with them around. I had very little sympathy for the situation they found themselves in because as I say they are not nice people, but you never quite know who is on the other end of the phone and whether they will follow through. In this story, he follows through.
I felt on edge throughout the book, the Elf-Man was on my back, whispering nothing nice in my ear. It knew what was coming, it knew that it would be intense and it knew that it would be bloody and it would be gruesome. As much as I love the setting of Australia I did love the final showdown setting of Waterfall Sanatorium, any abandoned hospital you know that it is going to down there! By heck it does! I loved the final showdown, with everything ramped up in the previous chapters, you know that not everyone would make it out alive, I do love that feeling where you have no idea of how it will all end.
I love the idea of Chatter and how something so simple turns into a bloodbath game and to be honest, I do not expect anything less from Duncan. He writes the best dark and twisty stories, he makes you hate who we need to hate with a passion and cry out for the safety of others. He has me hooked on every page and I just love reading his books. He sure knows how to write a stalker, this guy was always one step ahead and this was not good, it would terrify me receiving the messages that the group did. The videos and photos they received sent shivers as they would be looking at themselves in these pictures. I do not know how this guy was so ahead of the game!
Another winner in my eyes from Duncan and I have still more to read. Not sure how he can top this one, to be honest!!
Until next time xxx
Happy Birthday Duncan!!!
Thank you Duncan for sending me an eARC of your book in return for my honest and unbiased review.
Plus I have another 2 with no covers.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: