Close your eyes … Just pray you don’t wake up.
A killer stalks the streets of East London. All over the area, murdered young women are discovered, their bodies posed into a sickening recreation of fairytale princesses.
Detective Ruby Preston is determined to hunt down a disturbed individual who is using the women to realise their twisted fantasies. But when body parts are found at the home of her lover, Nathan Crosby, Ruby is torn between her job and her heart.
Convinced that he is being framed, Ruby must catch the killer before Nathan becomes the number one suspect. But as more victims are found, it becomes harder to prove his innocence.
Ruby is in too deep, knowing that the cruel individual is getting ever closer, looking for his next beautiful victim. But can she stop a killer hell-bent on fulfilling their horrific desires – before it’s too late? And how well does she really know the man she loves?
Made my skin crawl...
Fairy tales turn into horror stories in 'Sleep Tight', the second DS Ruby Preston thriller by Caroline Mitchell. Having read and enjoyed 'Love You to Death', the first gripping book in the series, I couldn't wait to lay my hands on a copy of this book. Now that I've finished it, I can only say WOW! What a corker!!
I'm always astonished by the warped imagination of crime writers. From where do they get these ideas? This time Ms. Mitchell has let loose a terrifying monster that turns victims into 'works of art'.
"It was as if Ruby had stepped into a scene of a fairy tale."
When the naked body of a University student is found in a park, Ruby wastes no time in starting her investigation. But having barely established murder, she is called to yet another murder scene. Another dead woman is found in a graveyard. This time the body is not naked... on the contrary, the woman has been ornately dressed in a beautiful Snow White outfit, complete with wig, tiara and full make-up. What sick mind would do this? Both murders have nothing in common. But could this be connected to the first one? Is it the work of the same killer?
When another body, dressed in an equally elaborate fairy-tale outfit, is found soon after, a link between the victims is made. Ruby is sure the killer is working through a list and is desperate to find and remove this monster from the streets before more victims are claimed. Her desperation to track down this killer intensifies when body parts from the second victim are found in her crime boss fiance, Nathan Crosby's house. Even though he's no stranger to violence, Ruby is sure that Nathan would never commit such heinous crimes, would he? She's certain someone is trying to frame him, but who? But does she really know him well enough?
Serial killer thriller lovers like me will revel in this book. The author wastes no time in gripping the readers from the get-go with a chilling scene reminiscent of dark Victorian tales, like Frankenstein - this creepy killer is 'working' on one of his victims in some rundown place. Early on in the book we are told who the killer is, what his background is, but his description only serves to chill the reader to the bone. From then on, as the number of fairy-tale victims escalates further, the reader is thrown into a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat race against time alongside Ruby as she tries to solve the puzzle, identify the murderer and clear her fiance's name.
Though second in a series, 'Sleep Tight' can be read as a standalone. The author gives us enough information to know who's who, so that's not a problem. All characters and police procedures are true to life and clearly show that the author draws much from her experience as a police officer. Ruby is bold, intelligent and strong-headed. Her love story with a wealthy crime boss holds many advantages but it's not something to go boasting about at work when you're a detective sergeant. But Ruby doesn't give a damn and is not afraid to bend the rules and get information from dubious sources if needed to achieve results. Her boss, Inspector Downes is a likeable character who is willing to cover up for her at work. And what about detective Ash Baker? Well, this character plays an important role in this book, but better not reveal anything about him here...
With a creepy killer out of nightmares, a great protagonist, non-stop tension, unexpected twists and nail-biting scenes, the author kept me entertained and on my toes throughout. Thanks to her vivid descriptions in setting scenes, it was as if I was there, in the killer's lair, on the crime scenes or in Ruby's apartment. The final confrontation with the killer just made me hold my breath. Great book! Highly recommended! Go, get it!!
With thanks to Bookouture for an ARC of this book and to Ms Noelle Holten of #crimebookjunkie for organising and inviting me to take part in the blog tour.
A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences.
Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. She now writes full time.