From the blurb:
He’ll never speak of the evil they did…
A former Swedish ambassador lies dead in his swanky Mayfair flat. With his tongue torn out and placed on a Bible. Competing theories swirl. A religious maniac? A psychopath? The truth is far darker than either. DCI Stella Cole’s search for the killer takes her to Sweden. There, she discovers a horrific chapter in the country’s history that throws the case into turmoil. And then more people start dying.
Teaming up with Swedish cops Oskar Norgrim and Johanna Carlsson, Stella pieces together Ambassador Brömly’s shocking past. And discovers the killer’s motive.
Meanwhile, Stella’s personal life is about to take a significant turn as her boyfriend, Jamie, suggests a change in their relationship. But as Stella tries to process what it means, she makes a fateful decision.
Why won’t the dead stay buried?
A Beautiful Breed of Evil is the fifth in the Stella Cole series and the first I have read. I was a little intrepid at first having no former knowledge of the character or indeed the author and worried it might be difficult to get a hold of the premise of the series. I needn’t have been concerned though. I motored through it and did not feel any sense of discombobulation. Quite simply put I really enjoyed it.
Stella is a cop with a difference. She believes in her job and bringing criminals to justice but she goes above and beyond the legalities restricting her. A stand out motif is one of strong, independent women who know what they want and go after their goals – both in unity and enmity – all centred around themes of retribution and revenge. A particular issue I found interesting was that of the seeking of atonement for the afterlife and the idea that this brings comfort and solace in the face of death. It is difficult to reconcile this with the pain and anguish of the victims left behind whose life choices and experiences have been snatched away from them. Stella herself embodies the victim, with horrific changes being forced upon her but can the actions she takes ever be justified? Exploring such questions and themes gives the novel depth and texture and has made me want to explore more of Andy Maslen’s work. I highly recommend you give this book a go – especially if like me you’re new to the series.
Thank you to @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours for the opportunity to read this book and for the ebook.
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