I have been wanting to share my review of this book for months now and that time is finally here!! Many thanks to Tracy Fenton for my invite onto the tour.
About this book…
A policeman on his first murder case
A tattoo artist with a deadly secret
And a twisted serial killer sharpening his blades to kill again…
When Brighton tattoo artist Marni Mullins discovers a flayed body, newly-promoted DI Francis Sullivan needs her help. There’s a serial killer at large, slicing tattoos from his victims’ bodies while they’re still alive. Marni knows the tattooing world like the back of her hand, but has her own reasons to distrust the police. So when she identifies the killer’s next target, will she tell Sullivan or go after the Tattoo Thief alone?
This book was on my radar for quite some time before I read it and once I did get my hands on a copy I just had to start it straight away. And I read it in one sitting as well as it is so completely and utterly gripping that I couldn’t bare to put it down! If, like me, you’re finding it hard to distinguish between police procedurals at the moment or want something a little bit different that really stands out from the crowd, then The Tattoo Thief is the book for you! It’s a fresh and exciting debut novel with interesting and intriguing characters whom I absolutely loved!
Marnie Mullins is a tattoo artist in Brighton with a rather complicated private life and a secret past. When she discovers a body whilst outside on a coffee break, she comes into contact with DI Francis (not Frank!!) Sullivan a newly promoted detective who needs to prove his worth. And when these two came together then sparks really did fly! Marnie has reasons to be wary of the police but when she spots a link between the body she discovered and other murders then she needs to work with Francis to bring a very disturbed serial killer to justice.
Pretty much everything about this book worked for me!! I loved Marnie Mullins, I found her to be a very strong minded individual but with a soft edge that made me want to protect her, especially as her tattoos also made her a target for this deranged murderer! I loved the idea that someone was killing people for their tattoos even though it was one of sickest collections I’d ever read about! And Alison Belsham did an AMAZING job of bringing the dark side of the tattoo scene in Brighton to life with her quirky characters and grisly murder scenes. I was completely gripped by the creepy antagonist and their point of view throughout the narrative and the twists and turns meant that I didn’t work out who was responsible until the big reveal.
I can’t wait to read more by Alison Belsham. This was an outstanding debut that took over my life whilst I was reading it. I was so utterly engrossed that I became part of its shadowy setting immediately and that feeling didn’t let up until the very end. Marnie and Francis were both characters who will stick in my mind and I would love to meet them again in the future.
Highly recommended by me!
Meet the author…
Alison Belsham initially started writing with the ambition of becoming a screenwriter-and in 2000 was commended for her visual storytelling in the Orange Prize for Screenwriting. In 2001 she was shortlisted in a BBC Drama Writer competition. Life and children intervened but, switching to fiction, in 2009 her novel Domino was selected for the prestigious Adventures in Fiction mentoring scheme. In 2016 she pitched her first crime novel, The Tattoo Thief, at the Pitch Perfect event at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival and was judged the winner.