Today is my turn on the Blog Tour for Day of the Dead by Mark Roberts. When I got the email asking if I would like to be part of this tour I just had to jump at the chance. I love very dark, grim stories but, given that I don’t watch the news as I don’t want to be upset by the horrors of the world, I really can’t bring myself to read them often.
Let us learn a little about the book first though!
Vindici is a hero to many. He is also the nation’s most dangerous criminal… A gripping serial killer thriller, perfect for fans of Angela Marsons.
The man who calls himself Vindici broke out of prison last year. Now he’s filmed himself torturing and killing paedophiles in Liverpool’s affluent suburbs. Half the city are celebrating: the streets are safer for their children. But for DCI Eve Clay and her team at the Merseyside Police, it’s a nightmare. Their job is to solve the crimes and lock up the killer – hard enough without being despised by the public they are trying to protect.
And now, just when they think they’ve cracked the case, they receive a photo of Vindici, at a Day of The Dead parade in Mexico. So if Vindici is 5,000 miles away, who are they hunting in Liverpool? DCI Eve Clay must draw on all her cunning to unmask a killer who is somehow always one step ahead…
- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Head of Zeus (4 May 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1784082961
- ISBN-13: 978-1784082963
Prologue 29th September 1986
‘Do not move a muscle, Eve! Stay exactly where you are!’ commanded Mrs Tripp, head of St Michael’s Catholic Care Home for Children. ‘And if anyone comes into my office and attempts to talk to you, do not speak a word!’
Eve Clay noticed a sheen of sweat and anxiety on the fat woman’s face as she hurried from her office, slamming the door shut after herself.
In silence, she counted to ten, listened hard and heard no one moving in the corridor outside.
Eve moved to the ling cabinet, recalling her first day in St Michael’s two years earlier, when she was six years old, and the fat card file on Mrs Tripp’s desk marked with her name: EVETTE CLAY.
She eyed the top door labelled ‘A–E’. She opened it, flicked through the slender card files. TOM ADAMS, JENNIFER BRADY, TONIA BREEN.
The bulging collection of papers marked EVETTE CLAY was at the tips of her fingers and she lifted it out with her heart beating fast and her mouth suddenly bone dry. She looked at the thickness of the le and didn’t know whether her memory was playing a trick on her but, fat as the le still was, it looked it as if it had thinned down.
‘Yes, something’s definitely missing,’ she said to herself.
She opened the file and, with her free hand, flicked through the papers in search of one specific document.
If other pages have gone missing, she reasoned, why not my birth certificate?
‘Jesus Christ,’ she whispered, finding the red-and-cream-coloured sheet of paper a third of the way into the le.
Approaching noise erupted in the corridor outside. Eve picked up Mrs Tripp’s voice coming closer to the door along with her footsteps and those of another adult who Hmm-hmmed in the beats between Mrs Tripp’s hurried speech.
Eve shoved her le back in place, shut the A–E drawer and felt sick to the core as she made her way to the exact spot where she had been when Mrs Tripp hurried from her office. Looking out of the window at the ambulance parked next to the police car with its back doors wide open, she folded her birth certificate and hid it in the pocket of her jeans.
As the office door opened behind her, Eve watched a pair of paramedics carrying a man in his twenties on a stretcher. He was covered from the neck down by a blue blanket, a mop of blond curls framing his bloodstained face.
‘Eve, what are you doing at the window?’ Mrs Tripp sounded confused and panic-stricken but disguised it by filling her voice with bogus compassion.
‘I’m doing exactly what you told me, Mrs Tripp. I haven’t moved a muscle. I’ve stayed exactly where I was.’ She remained there, looking out of the window as the paramedics loaded the unconscious man into the back of the ambulance. ‘Will they be taking Christopher Hawkins to hospital?’ asked Eve as the last of his body disappeared.
‘Eve, it’s rude to speak to grown-ups when your back is turned to them!’ Mrs Tripp advanced.
And it’s rude to speak to anybody’s back whatever age they are, thought Eve, turning.
A tall policewoman in a neat blue uniform stood in the doorway. Eve looked beyond Mrs Tripp and directly at the policewoman.
She smiled at Eve and closed the door. ‘I’ve come to have a little chat with you, Eve. My name’s Gwen Jones and I’m a woman police constable.’
‘Admiral Street?’ asked Eve. ‘That’s right. That’s where I’m based.’ ‘There’s no need to be scared of the police officer,’ said Mrs
Tripp. As Eve walked towards WPC Jones, Eve wondered if Mrs Tripp
was talking to herself. ‘I’m not scared of you.’ Eve tried to smile but she felt a sad
expression in the muscles of her face. The policewoman stooped to Eve’s eye level and, although she looked very tough, there was a kindness in her eyes that calmed the bottled-up storm inside the little girl. Her eyes danced across Eve’s features as if she was reading a book.
Then WPC Jones glanced behind her. ‘You can go now, Mrs Tripp.’
As I stated up top I don’t read books this dark too often as I really don’t like having my mind visualising such graphic details, however, the quote from the Daily Mail – ‘Intricate, fast-paced, with a sense of the macabre’ made me mentally grasp at the book like a child shouting ‘GIMME, GIMME, GIMME!!’
First things first, just look at that dust cover!! As a photographer (just have to shove that in there!) I take a lot of photos of the obscure and one of my favourite things to photograph is graveyards and headstones so needless to say my eye is very much drawn to this cover. Take the cover off however and you will see the most simple and beautiful deep navy hardback with simple silver writing on the spine…just delicious!
I can honestly say that the quote that made me want this book was completely accurate. There are some truly grotesque scenes in this book, at times I felt my insides being twisted by the words of violence and obscenities.
From the very first page, I was pulled in and wanted to know more.
Mark Roberts was born and raised in Liverpool and was educated at St. Francis Xavier’s College. He was a teacher for twenty years and for the last thirteen years h
as worked with children with severe learning difficulties. He received a Manchester Evening News Theatre Award for best new play of the year. He is the author of What She Saw which was longlisted for a CWA Gold Dagger. Blood Mist, the first in his DCI Eve Clay series, went to number one in the Australian kindle chart.