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  • A Cracking Instalment!

    Her Last Breath is the second instalment in Alison Belsham's Brighton based Sullivan and Mullins series, featuring DI Francis Sullivan. Even though I haven't read the first book, The Tattoo Thief, I dived straight in anyway as the story outline sounded appealing... and I'm so pleased I took the plunge! There were shades of book one in Her Last Breath, which took me a bit of time to fathom. Marni Mullins and her son, Alex are tattooists. Marni is married to Thierry, though their marriage is troubled, and she is a witness in a current court case brought about from prior terrifying events. When a young woman is brutally attacked and maimed, a tattoo is found on her back, along with some other nasty wounds. The woman, named Tash, later dies in hospital and at first, the doctor is confused as she had previously been responding to treatment. The post mortem revealed that the tattoo was the cause of death. Key elements of the crime require Marni's involvement with the case that DI Francis Sullivan finds himself investigating. When a young woman disappears, Detective Francis Sullivan and his team fear a serial killer is walking Brighton's streets... I revelled in the highly suspenseful writing of Alison Belsham, and I could really feel the frustration and determination of the team coming through. Francis Sullivan was an excellent protagonist, and the level of emotion he displayed made him extremely endearing. In addition to the investigation, there was a great deal going on in his personal life that made things even more difficult for him. The narrative skipped seamlessly between Francis, Marni, Alex and a girl named Aimee, who from the summer of 1982 onward, was experiencing an increasingly horrific childhood. Her Last Breath was a gripping cat-and-mouse tale by an author who masterfully teased out all my emotions, and this is a series which can only grow all the more compelling with every instalment. Once I have caught up with book one, I'll be ready to look forward to book three! I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Orion via NetGalley at my request, and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

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  • This is one of those five star plus reads.

    I didn't think The Tattoo Thief could be topped but this is one cracking read. I lost the day, looked up and it was dark, it was that addictive. DI Francis Sullivan and Marni Mullins are back and so are tattoos. A young woman is attacked and tattooed, she dies 24 hours later. Marni's son, Alex, is a suspect so Sullivan is not her favourite person. There are clues Sullivan must decipher if he and his team are to catch who is out there killing on the streets of Brighton.

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