Sunday, 4 July 2010

Dead Wood by Chris Longmuir

Don't Go Down To The Woods
Reviewed by Maryom

Young women are disappearing in Dundee but the police seem unaware of a serial killer out there, hunting down more victims - until bodies are discovered in woods outside the city, the site of a series of murders several years before. Among the victims is the daughter of local gang baron Tony Palmer and he intends to take his own revenge before the police can track the killer down. Who will get to him first?

It took me a while to settle into this plot. There seemed such a lot of characters to be introduced to and I was wondering how many of them were really necessary to the plot. But stick with it past the first 30 pages or so and the story starts to take shape and the tempo improves to a chase against the clock to discover the murderer from a long list of suspects.
There are so many characters that some inevitably feel sketched in rather than fully developed - but I particularly liked the portrayal of the family man/human side of gangster Tony Palmer. This is my sort of crime novel - without much blood and gore and without having to probe inside the killer's twisted mind - though not necessarily to everyone's taste.
Chris Longmuir is a comparatively new author - this novel won the Dundee International Book Prize for new writers in 2009 - and I look forward to reading more from her.

Maryom's review - 4 stars
Publisher Poloygon
Genre - Adult Crime

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