Blood Reckoning Review

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Blood Reckoning by Danielle Ramsay
Rating: 5/5
Source: Amazon
Released: 23rd April 2015

In the 1970s, a terrifying serial killer stalked the streets of Tynemouth. The press called him the Joker. The crimes stopped - but the man was never caught.

And now he's back.

A body has been found in a sleazy motel room, murdered in exactly the same way as the Joker's first victims.

Is it a copycat? A trick? Or is the Joker at work once more? It's only DI Jack Brady's first day back - and this will be his most twisted case yet.

As Brady digs into both the old murders and the new, he must confront revenge, betrayal, love and lies...and a truly ruthless killer.
Blood Reckoning was probably the book I was most excited about back when it first came out. Following on from Blind Alley when (small spoiler) Jack was almost killed, of course I was eager to find out if he was alright and how he was going to cope with going back to work. He never has an easy time between books and then it's like returning to school after the summer and wanting to see what's changed.

It turns out things are pretty much the same, welcome back Brady -he's a gruesome murder case for you to sink your teeth in on your first day back. No rest for the wicked, eh Jack? Busy at work, with little to nothing going on at home, how is that fair? Jack is the good-looking sort and plenty of women take an interest in him, but the detective only has eyes for one, not ideal, choice and it isn't doing him any good.

Danielle Ramsay has been consistently good at making her Jack Brady books a healthy balance of detective novel and personal circumstance. I'm not sure how many people would keep reading if Jack was constantly sitting in a dark room and brooding over his questionable love life, but because he is a good detective in the midst of a high-profile murder case, a little woe-is-me really works to keep Jack relatable and human.

Yes, Brady likes his vices and has plenty of them, but he is a good, loyal guy and this is particularly evidenced in this book. At the end of Vanishing Point, DS Harry Conrad was shot protecting Jack, and Jack took it hard. Now in Blood Reckoning, Conrad isn't acting like himself and Brady knows something is going on. If you've read my other reviews you know Conrad is my favourite character in the series, so this really struck a chord with me.

Conrad blames having to work with DS Adamson, a slimy bent copper who rivals Brady every chance he gets. Jack isn't convinced because he just wants to help, but things will come out eventually. It was good to learn more about Conrad in spite of the experience being heart-breaking.

As for the actual murder, and as always, I won't give anything away, Brady and is team are dealing with a potential copy-cat killer when a recent murder bears a resemblance to an old case. The Joker's work was notorious for being gruesome and if they're back or have inspired a fan to take on the job, they need to be stopped quickly.

Despite being the fourth book in the series, like those that came before it, Blood Reckoning can be read as a standalone novel but I highly recommend you go back and read the first three novels because once you get a taste for Brady, I know you'll want more.

There's one more Brady review to come next month and then it'll be the countdown to Danielle Ramsay's new series, kicking off with The Last Cut on June 1st! Keep an eye out for my review of The Puppet Maker, coming May 1st.

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