HEART SWARM (DI Will Harlan #1) by Allan Watson
Publication Date; October 5th 2017
Prepare to be Scared…
It feels like history is repeating itself when out-of-favour detective Will Harlan gets summoned to a crime scene in the village of Brackenbrae after a young girl is found hanging in the woods.
Five years ago Harlan headed up the investigation of an identical murder in the same woods; a mishandled investigation that effectively destroyed his credibility as a detective. The new case immediately takes a bizarre twist when the body is identified as the same girl found hanging in the woods five years ago.
The following day a local man commits suicide and the police find more dead girls hidden in his basement. The case seems open and closed.
Until the killing spree begins.
Harlan finds himself drawn into a dark world where murder is a form of self-expression and human life treated as one more commodity to be used and discarded.
The only clue that links everything is a large oil painting of ‘Sagittarius A’ – a massive black hole at the centre of the galaxy orbited by thirteen stars daubed in blood with the words –
Holy crap. This book was horrific, gory, unsettling, nasty and uncomfortable. But I frigging LOVED EVERY. SINGLE. PAGE!! This book is outrageous like you wouldn’t believe, but is hands down one of my favourite reads this year! Which is a big claim I know from any blogger as we read A LOT. But this book blew any expectation I had clear out of the water.
DI Will Harlan is a familiar character in the respect that many police procedural novels will feature a strong lead whose life has gone a bit skewiff. Reeling from ‘the one who got away, his wife has left him, a daughter he doesn’t see much of and lives in a hotel with a retired criminal. This story is very much about redemption and a second chance for Will when the same case that nearly broke him is back to haunt him.
Will is kept firmly on his toes by his right hand woman; Cara. She is a ballsy police officer who isn’t afraid to speak her mind…. she is rather blunt at times. Too blunt maybe. But this made her character a pleasure to read. Cara isn’t without her own back story and when we learn more, we can understand how this has shaped her character and her life.
If graphic crime scenes put you off, then I would steer clear of HEART SWARM. But if, like me, you have a morbid curiosity for these things and like that uncomfortable image floating around your noggin, then this it 100% the book for you! I’ve not read anything as graphic and unsettling since AMERICAN PSYCHO – which is saying something!
Very much looking forward to sharing my review for the follow up novel; WASP LATITUDES when the blog tour hits on November 17th 🙂
Thanks so much to Sarah Hardy and Allan Watson for my copy of HEART SWARM. This review has not been swayed in any way and the above review is all my own ramblings!
You can buy HEART SWARM (DI Will Harlan #1) from the following booksellers (and obviously many more! Support your local booksellers where you can!)