Three months after solving his last case, DI Tudor Manx leads a harrowing investigation to catch a killer terrorizing the Isle of Anglesey. After the body of the first victim, Sian Conway is found, the suspicion quickly falls on her boss, Kimble McLain, and her volatile ex-husband, Liam Fowler. The autopsy soon reveals Sian was eighteen weeks pregnant and when the coroner finds a religious text hidden in the victim’s liver, Manx suspects this could be the work of a serial killer. The case takes a shocking turn when footage of Sian’s murder is discovered. With a twisted killer on the loose and a rising body count, Manx’s personal life hits rock bottom when an old colleague from his past hits him with a bombshell revelation. Why does Kimble McLain have links to each of the victims? And what is the killer’s real motive? In a race against time to reveal the killer’s identity, Manx will face his toughest case yet.
Doll Face is a dark and addictive murder mystery thriller. It has a surprising opening and short pacy chapters to start with which really get the story going and I was immediately gripped. It is the second in a series, but I read it absolutely fine as a standalone and loved it.
It is also a solid police procedural and the evidence is discovered in a systematic but compelling way. The characters include a mix of police officers and technical or medical staff, and the workplace banter provides some lighter moments in what is at times a pretty gruesome story. Dylan H. Jones has a really good writing style and demonstrates some deft sleight of hand as he sprinkles the clues throughout the story.
There are several dramatic plot developments throughout, as well as some disturbing elements to the story. It has a thrilling conclusion and I really was racing through the final few chapters.
The descriptions of Anglesey and its scenery are very evocative and atmospheric. It depicts a bleak but beautiful landscape and reminded me in some ways of my recent first forays into Nordic Noir.
Tudor Manx is a convincing lead, with an intriguing background and story arc. I need to read the first in this series asap and I suspect from the ending (and hope) that there is a third to come soon!
Thank you to NetGalley and Bloodhound Books for the ARC of Doll Face.