Dead Man’s Prayer by Jackie Baldwin #BookReview @JackieMBaldwin1

About this book…

A dark and gripping crime debut, the first in an exciting new series. Eighteen years ago, DI Frank Farrell turned his back on the church. But when an ex-priest is murdered in his hometown, he has no choice but to delve into his past. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, James Oswald and Val McDermid.

Ex-priest DI Frank Farrell has returned to his roots in Dumfries, only to be landed with a disturbing murder case. Even worse, Farrell knows the victim: Father Boyd, the man who forced him out of the priesthood eighteen years earlier.

With no leads, Farrell must delve into the old priest’s past, one that is inexorably linked with his own. But his attention is diverted when a pair of twin boys go missing. The Dumfries police force recover one in an abandoned church, unharmed. But where is his brother?

As Farrell investigates the two cases, he can’t help but feel targeted. Is someone playing a sinister game, or is he seeing patterns that don’t exist? Either way, it’s a game Farrell needs to win before he loses his grip on his sanity, or someone else turns up dead.

My review…

This book had been on my radar for a while before I picked up a copy to read. A few reviewers had said they thought it would be a book I would enjoy and they were absolutely right! It had all my favourite elements for a police procedural and I devoured it within a matter of hours.

The Scottish crime thriller scene is huge at the moment but Jackie Baldwin has written a self assured debut that has slotted into the current market as if she had been around for years. Her fictional detective DI Frank Farrell is a great character creation and I was cheering him on from the off! I liked the fact that he had a very different backstory having previously been a priest. The layers that his former vocation gave to his personality meant that, although I took to him, I never quite fully anticipated what actions he would take next. Especially once he comes into contact with former friends and family.

I love the way Jackie Baldwin writes. There was just the right mix of police investigation and personal problems with a host of supporting characters that I’d love to meet again and find out more about. The use of the twin boys in the plot was a particular favourite theme for me (everyone knows I’m a huge fan of twin psychology!) and the twists and turns here meant we were never quite sure where the motives overlapped and why.

I’m really looking forward to seeing where the author takes DI Farrell next. His individuality stands out for me making him an intriguing personality that I’m keen to delve into further. The characterisation, plus the fact that this is a well researched crime thriller, means I am more than happy to recommend it to other fans of this genre. 

Many thanks to the author for my copy of Dead Man’s Prayer which I have chosen to read and review.

Dead Man’s Prayer: A gripping detective thriller with a killer twist (DI Frank Farrell, Book 1) is out now and available to purchase at Amazon UK

Meet the author…

Jackie Baldwin
Jackie Baldwin was born in Dumfries. She studied law at Edinburgh University then practised as a solicitor in a rural town for twenty years specialising in family and criminal law. She then trained as a hypnotherapist and now works from home. She is married with two (almost) grown up children and loves to walk with her two dogs in local forests. She is an active member of her local crime writing group.

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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