A Murder of Crows by Ian Skewis


“The most violent thunderstorm in living memory occurs above a sleepy village on the West Coast of Scotland.

A young couple take shelter in the woods, never to be seen again…

DCI Jack Russell is brought in to investigate. Nearing retirement, he agrees to undertake one last case, which he believes can be solved as a matter of routine.

But what Jack discovers in the forest leads him to the conclusion that he is following in the footsteps of a psychopath who is just getting started. Jack is flung headlong into a race against time to prevent the evolution of a serial killer…”

The writing is incredibly descriptive and creates a rich and dynamic setting that is full of buoyant characters. The imagery is fantastic. The narrative is stirring and exciting and brings forth emotion. This writer has a good sense of how to keep you in suspense. Skewis is an author with a great talent for using the written word and creating an atmosphere in the book that relates quite perfectly with the subject matter. I found myself immersed in this book. I can imagine that his natural talent and writing abilities will only grow stronger over time.

The pace had an even flow. The characters and subplots were introduced slowly enough to follow. There are various characters and each has their own secrets that you begin to learn in a way that is not confusing or overwhelming. The story and writing is fluid throughout and even though sometimes, you don’t like what you’re reading, it is still evenly threaded.

The development was amazing! Can I just say that again? AMAZING! The tone of the book was immensely pulling and dark. There are SO many suspects that you just don’t have a clue who the killer might be. Just when you think you might’ve guessed it- bam!- here comes another character with a motive. It was a perfect mystery thriller for me. I love all the different stories of all the characters, each with their own suspicious stories.

I was captivated the whole time.

While I don’t feel the characters was fully developed, I don’t think it was necessary to the overall story. You got just enough to understand how they each could’ve been the killer and why. Jack Russel was the perfect lead detective (DCI) for this story! Even though his character is soon to retire, I hope we learn more about him and are able to follow him through more mysteries- prequels perhaps? Anyway, the dynamic of animosity between he and his partner is palpable. They provide and excellent backdrop for the way the case is handled. One thing that caught my attention was the analogy of the weather and the sense of doom in the story. (Was it an analogy? Well, it seemed so to me.)

I have touched on the characters a bit but I just have to point out that I am a nurse and have worked with dementia patients. Skewis’s portrayal of a mother with dementia was dead on and brilliant. I enjoyed the different perspectives of the chapters and felt it gave a greater perspective on the story as a whole.

This was an enjoyable, albeit, intense read and I look forward to reading ore by this author. 5 stars from me!

This book was given to me by the publisher via Netgalley. all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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