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Friday 20 October 2017

‘Living Death’ by Graham Masterton

Published by Head of Zeus.
9 February 2017.
ISBN: 978-9781784081430

Living Death is the seventh book in the Katie Maguire series of police procedurals set in Ireland. Katie Maguire is a high-ranking detective in the Cork Garda and at the start of the book she begins an investigation into a break in at boarding kennels and the disappearance of a large number of dogs. During the break in the owner’s wife is raped and one of the perpetrators shot dead, which turns a simple case of dognapping into a murder investigation.

Meanwhile a young woman, Siobhan, is abducted from outside of a nightclub and forced to endure horrific mutilation by the surgeon of a private clinic, the details of which are gruesome. Siobhan isn’t the only one to go missing and as the book progresses the number of patients admitted to the clinic grows, each trying to cope with the unnecessary loss of sight, limbs and speech.

In contrast to the unnecessary mutilation of the victims, at home Katie is struggling to cope with having an ex-lover who has come to stay after the recent amputation of his legs, a situation she feels responsible for. The ex-lover is needy and trying to come to terms with the loss of his legs. He desperately tries to rekindle their relationship as if this will somehow make up for the loss.

With human mutilation and animal cruelty at its worst, this is not a book for everyone. However, Living Death is full of light and shade with empathy and tenderness balancing the horror. Graham Masterton cleverly shows the manic lifestyle of a high-ranking police officer. The mountain of paperwork and bureaucracy, as well as the day to day running of an investigation, and how it all impacts on a policewoman’s life.

This is a book of twists and turns, and threads that brilliantly weave throughout the book. No element is superfluous to the plot and there are surprises up to the very last page.
Reviewer: Christine Hammacott

Graham Masterton. was born in Edinburgh in 1946. His grandfather was Thomas Thorne Baker, the eminent scientist who invented DayGlo and was the first man to transmit news photographs by wireless. After training as a newspaper reporter, Graham went on to edit the new British menis magazine Mayfair, where he encouraged William Burroughs to develop a series of scientific and philosophical articles which eventually became Burroughsi novel The Wild Boys. At the age of 24, Graham was appointed executive editor of both Penthouse and Penthouse Forum magazines. At this time he started to write a bestselling series of sex 'how-to' books including How To Drive Your Man Wild In Bed which has sold over 3 million copies worldwide. His latest, Wild Sex For New Lovers is published by Penguin Putnam in January, 2001. He is a regular contributor to Cosmopolitan, Menis Health, Woman, Womanis Own and other mass-market self-improvement magazines. He lives in Surrey. His wife and agent Wiescka died on 27 April 2011, aged 65. He has just finished writing a black thriller featuring Irelandis only female detective superintendent, Katie Maguire, set in the Cork underworld; and a dark fantasy, Jessicais Angel, about a girlis search for five supposedly-dead children.

Christine Hammacott lives near Southampton and runs her own design consultancy. She started her career working in publishing as a book designer and now creates covers for indie-authors. She writes page-turning fiction that deals with the psychological effects of crime.

 Her debut novel 
The Taste of Ash was published in 2015.

twitter: /ChrisHammacott
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