Vendetta by Dreda Say Mitchell

Published by Hodder in paperback on 6th November 2014, it is also available as an ebook. My thanks to Hodder and Bookbridgr who kindly sent me my review copy.

Vendetta is the first in a new series of thrillers set in the dark and murky world of undercover police officers.

Two murders. Two different crime scenes. One killer?

Mac wakes in a smashed up hotel room with no recollection of what has happened. With his lover's corpse in the bathroom and the evidence suggesting that he killed her, Mac is on a mission to uncover the truth and find the real killer.

But he's in a race against time, with less than a day to unravel the mystery. Still reeling from a personal tragedy Mac isn't afraid of pain. Hot on his heels is tenacious Detective Inspector Rio Wray. Double-crossed and in the line of fire, Mac has to swim through a sea of lies to get to the truth.

But only Mac knows he's been living a double life. Can he be sure he doesn't have the blood of a dead woman on his hands?

This is the first crime novel I have read in a while, they used to be all I would read. I stopped reading them when I didn't come across anything that seemed original.

Firstly Vendetta is the most original crime novel I have ever read, it is punchy, pacy and you are driven through a narrative with the hurtling speed of a freight train. This novel delivers an ending that I never would have guessed in all of my days and it comes at you like a bolt of lightening and leaves you sat there shocked, numbed and wanting more.

Short sharp chapters help deliver the pace with the whole story being set in 24hrs. Hard to believe so much happened during that time, the twists and turns in the plot and the way they sneak up on you are just astonishing. As a reader you start to believe one thing and then something else happens immediately to change your mind.

What I liked most about this book is the fact that as the plot developed so did the characters. Oh how I adore flawed characters, for after all none of us are perfect, such a being doesn't exist. It was hard to like any of the characters and I would guess not one of them is fully reliable. There is more than one Vendetta going on. Characters that are out for there own gain and will step on anyone that gets in their way.

By far my favourite, and it is hard to have a favourite is DI Rio Wray. I loved her feistiness and strength of character. I can't wait to read more about her in future.

If intelligent, credible crime novels are your thing then please read this, and prepare yourself to be astounded.

Dreda Say Mitchell grew up on a housing estate in East London. She is an award winning novelist, broadcaster, and freelance education consultant. Some of her work can be described as truly inspirational.

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