Genre: Crime / Thriller / Paranormal
Publication Date: 24th Sept 2015
I received an advance copy of Time To Die by Caroline Mitchell from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Bookouture.
So a month ago I read my first ever book by Caroline Mitchell, Don’t Turn Around. You can read the review of it here. This was the first in a new series featuring Detective Jennifer Knight. I really liked the book but I did have a couple of negative points that brought the rating down a little bit. It still got four stars though. Time To Die is the second book in the Detective Jennifer Knight series. I obviously wanted to read it. I was interested to see if the negatives had been turned into positives.
Detective Jennifer Knight now works for Operation Moonlight. This is a separate unit within the Police Force in Haven where all the detectives have certain “skills”.
She is investigating a series of murders involving a killer known simply as “The Raven”. He is a mysterious man who gives people readings using Tarot cards. He tells them their past, their present and then predicts their future. Their future always involves them dying in a brutal way.
There is some sort of connection that is driving the killer but no one knows what this is. Jennifer must try and “connect” with The Raven to find out firstly, who he is and secondly, how to stop him. The clock is ticking and time is running out for someone very close to Jennifer. No one knows that yet. Apart from The Raven.
OK so how does this stand up to the first book in the series? It’s better. Much better. The first book was really good and was a good introduction to Jennifer and her unique skills. My complaint with the first book was the strength of characters. None of them, including Jennifer, seemed to really stand out for me and, I felt, could have been developed a bit more.
Characters in Time To Die? Jennifer is obviously the main girl. In this one she is much stronger. She seems to be far more comfortable in the role she now has within the police force. She is more forceful, more authoritative and definitely more confident. This, for me, is a huge improvement on book one. She seems to be more believable. She is definitely a character that I can see people connecting with more. In terms of the people she works with, they have all changed apart from her friend Will. He is just the same. Laid back, conscientious, but someone who always has your back. I hated Jennifer’s Sergeant and DI in book one. They were, again for me, boring. They didn’t add much to the story and felt a bit lost in it. In this book she has new ones and yay they are much better. They actually interact in the story more. They seem human and believable. They feature much more and it makes the whole team just fit together better.
The villain character in this, “The Raven” is vile. He is evil. He is insane. I absolutely loved him. He has an ailment that millions of people all over the world have, I have it myself so I’m not making light of it but the way Ms Mitchell describes it in this story will make your skin crawl. Literally. You will be itching and scratching the whole way through this one.
The plot is pretty simple but complicated at the same time. The Raven tells peoples fortunes and they die. Jennifer must find him and stop him. Sounds easy? Not so. He reads Tarot cards and he reads them very well. He undoubtedly has a knack for predicting how the people will die. He obviously has some outside force helping him both pick his victims and predict how they will die. As I said, there are a lot of outside forces at work in this story and another angle going on that Jennifer thinks is connected. Through much of the book I didn’t but what do I know? There are a couple of sub plots that at times make you wonder why they are even there but Ms Mitchell weaves them all together wonderfully well into a story that is very intriguing and will keep you gripped to the end. I can’t emphasise enough how much I loved The Raven as a villain. He was perfect.
Whenever a new author comes along it’s always a gamble when you pick their book up. You never know what to expect and how they are going to develop. I find this especially true when the first book you read is the first in a series. I always worry that if the first book is not so good that the other ideas the author has will not get better. Caroline Mitchell started this series with a huge big bang with Don’t Turn Around. I did have criticisms of it. It was a really good story but it wasn’t perfect. With Time To Die she has developed things much better. The whole character problem I had with their lack of depth in Don’t Turn Around has been solved. She now has a working police team that have totally gelled together and work well as a team you would want to read about over and over. With The Raven she has developed an evil trait in her villains that I really hope she continues to use in future books.
Add to all of that the paranormal element and I think Ms Mitchell really has a very promising career ahead of her as a writer. I don’t like to compare one writers work to another but I can’t help thinking that with Jennifer Knight we could have a female version of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker on our hands. I can’t wait to see where this series goes.
One last thing – Caroline if you read this, can I request something? Can you write an out and out horror novel? I think you would be rather bloody good at it!
To summarise: Number two in a series so if you want to follow things then buy Don’t Turn Around first. A highly effective, gritty crime thriller with a paranormal twist with one of the best villains ever. Even better than the first book.
★★★★★ again, brilliant.
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Don’t ever cross his palm with silver.
He will reveal your most shameful secrets.
He will predict your death.
He is hiding a secret.
He is hiding a monster.
And all his predictions come true.
Investigating a series of chilling murders, Detective Jennifer Knight finds herself tracking a mysterious tarot card reader known only as The Raven.
As the death toll rises, Jennifer and her team build a picture of a serial killer on the edge of sanity, driven by dark forces. But these are not random killings. And the method behind the madness could be the most terrifying thing of all …
Especially when it seems the death of one of their own is on the cards.
Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her husband, four children and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. Five years ago Caroline and her family encountered real life paranormal activity in their home. Paranormal Intruder is her best-selling true story.
Caroline's new novel, Don't Turn Around has recently been published by Bookouture in a three book deal as part of her DC Jennifer Knight series. These edge of your seat crime thrillers are infused by Caroline's experience in both the police and the paranormal. To find out more please subscribe at www.caroline-writes.com.
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