Bring Her Home

A good serial killer story which could have been great

Book title

Bring Her Home (has been renamed from the title it had as an ARC , which was Dancing With The Dead)

Author

SA Dunphy

Standalone or series

Series (first in planned series)

First time reading this author?

Yes

Why I picked this

The plot sounded good on the blurb.

Review copy or purchase

Thank you to the author, publishers Bookouture and NetGalley UK for access to this as an advance reader’s ebook. This is an honest and voluntary review.

What it’s about

Criminal behaviourist Jessie Boyle flees London after the serial killer she’s hunting strikes close to home. Back in Ireland an old friend quickly pulls her into an investigation into a missing woman which may have links to the work of a serial killer who’s been killing for a very long time.

Review

I really wanted to love this book, but there were a couple of narrative quirks which kept me from fully immersing myself in this serial killer story.

First off it was the use of a kind of voiceover narrator to show that things were about to get worse. Like, Jessie saying ‘this is going to be a long two weeks’, and the narrator comment in the next line is ‘she wasn’t wrong’. It happened a couple of times and felt really awkward.

The second thing was character backstory being delivered through standalone chapters. Every few chapters the action would be interrupted with a chapter headed with a character name. That chapter delivered a bunch of info about the character. Firstly it’s an awkward way to get to know a character, it feels really forced. Secondly, it made it harder to feel engaged with the characters, especially as I kept losing track of what I knew about someone and what the main characters knew about them. I read a lot of books in which flashbacks work well to help you gradually understand a character’s motivation. The technique is not used to good effect here.

It’s a shame because at its core there’s a good plot here with a network of serial killer, and there’s the start of a good partnership between the main three investigators. However, those narrative issues stopped me fully engaging with any of that.

Rating

Rating: 3 out of 5.
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