Published by Joffe Books,
14 April 2021,
ISBN: 978-1-78931-752-7 (PB)
This story features a serial killer who identifies his victim, abducts her, takes a knife from his battery of knives, slashes her, and then, when he can see in her eyes that she knows she will die, kills her. And if one of his victims manages to escape, he goes after her, and will stop at nothing to find her and silence her.
Nic Gordon is one of those who did escape. She and her friend Colm had gone to a club in Belfast where the story is set, neither being much into clubbing but going to keep Nic’s friend Hannah company. After one drink of Coca-Cola Nic passes out. When she comes to, she wakes to find to find herself in a derelict cottage, wounded and bleeding, and she can hear, although she cannot see, that Colm is screaming with pain. Nic does manage to escape and flees into the night to find help although she fears the worst has happened to Colm. She passes out and wakes to find she is in hospital.
She is interviewed by Detective Inspector Ram but can remember little of what happened. He tells her that the police have identified the cottage where she was held; they have found traces of blood but no sign of Colm. Later Nic is questioned by Detective Sergeant Asha Harvey who is more approachable than Ram. When Nic says that she is determined to leave hospital and to return, not home as her mother wants, but to her student lodgings, Asha tells Nic that she will be keeping an eye on her. Whatever it is that has happened to Colm, Nic feels at least partially responsible, and she is determined to find out whatever the risks.
Then she finds messages threatening not just her but her beloved and vulnerable younger sister Hazel, and we know from occasional passages recounting the perpetrator’s thoughts that he is equally determined to draw in and trap Nic so that she cannot escape what he has in mind for her. Who will win?
At first Nic pursues her enquiries alone but she finds that not only Asha but Asha’s colleague, Detective Constable Aaron Banks, have been indeed keeping an eye on her. But there are more threatening messages. And then Hazel is taken. And the body that has been assumed to be Colm’s turns out not to be his – at least not the man who had called himself Colm. So, who is the dead man? And who is the man who had been calling himself Colm?
This gripping story is full of
twists and turns as Nic with her allies in the Belfast police try to discover
and identify the savage killer whoever he may be and to free Hazel. Nic will do
anything in order to save her sister, but in doing so puts herself in danger.
Reviewer: Radmila May
Kerry Buchanan is a vet who retired when her disability left her unable to carry out the duties required. Since then, she’s designed leukaemia patient databases, researched high pressure food processing, taught ICT to people who were convinced computers would explode in their face if they hit the wrong key, and run her own livery business. Kerry lives on a farm in amongst the drumlins of County Down in Northern Ireland, surrounded by animals, both two- and four-legged. The view from every window provides inspiration for her stories which is the reason, she says, for her productivity. These days, she’s a full-time carer for her father, who is 93 and suffers from dementia, but still makes time to write prolifically. She won an ACNI SIAP award in 2019 and then a second ACNI award in the summer of 2020. Her short stories are widely published, including The Armada Tree, which won Kraxon Magazine's Story of the Year Award (2019), but she is only now beginning to submit some of her novels. Her first crime novel, Knife Edge, was published by Joffe Books 14 April 2021.
was born in the U.S. but has lived in the U.K. since she was seven apart from seven years in The Hague. She read law at university but did not go into practice. Instead she worked for many years for a firm of law publishers and still does occasional work for them including taking part in a substantial revision and updating of her late husband’s legal practitioners’ work on Criminal Evidence published late 2015. She has also contributed short stories with a distinctly criminal flavour to two of the Oxford Stories anthologies published by Oxpens Press – a third story is to be published shortly in another Oxford Stories anthology – and is now concentrating on her own writing.