When Angels Sleep by Mark Griffin

Many Thanks to Net Galley, Little, Brown Book Group UK and Mark Griffin for a chance to review this book.

Oh boy O boy…what an absolutely thrilling story this turned out to be. Serial killer books had become sort of stagnant for me. The same old same old plot of the killer by the end focused on the main protagonist investigating the crime getting to be a chore after reading many of them in this genre. But I am honestly glad that I took a chance with When Angels Sleep, book #2 in the Holly Wakefield series. It can definitely be read as a stand alone but after reading book 2, I want to follow thru with the series as there is also a beautiful relationship developing in the story that I would love to explore more.

Holly Wakefield consultant psychologist for the Met Police is weird who saves memorabilia of all the cases she has worked in a room inside her flat. She can get into the minds of serial killers and psychopaths and understand what makes them tick. After having personal experience of a serial killer’s work, it is no wonder she is excellent at her job. Working with DI William Bishop in the first case has left her with some injuries but Holly is ready and raring to get back into the field when a case that can jolt even a hard-hearted individual rock the Met police.

The gruesome murder of a child is discovered in Epping forest. Holly realises this is no random crime as the 13- year old child has been staged to look peaceful like an angel, wearing only white underpants, head resting in a pillow holding an angel pendant in his hand. The race begins as Holly and Bishop fights to understand the mind of a brilliant strategist and planner who has taken extreme precautions to avoid detection.

I loved how the author has changed the game in the book, by making our hearts gallop at the end along with Holly as she tries to save the life of a child kidnapped and left to die. The story takes time to get into that gripping mode but once it does, the climax is a race to finish. The final few chapters had some nasty scenes that I didn’t want to put an image to the words that were being described. Amidst this, there’s also Holly’s loving care of her brother Lee who is in psychiatric care and her growing fondness and love for Bishop who doesn’t seem to mind her half-crazy mind and is willing to go that extra mile to keep Holly safe. I loved the character of Holly and her quirky tendencies, the chapter where she talks to the killer, a brilliant exercise for the reader’s mind.

Reading books about kidnapping, abuse or killing that involves children is always hard to get right, to find that perfect balance of not making it too soppy  and to get the exact emotional touch is tough but with When Angels Sleep, Mark Griffin has worked wonders in conveying the brutality of the crime with minimum gory details.

Highly recommended for all fans of police procedurals.

On a cold winter’s morning, the body of a young boy is discovered in Epping Forest.

The body is pristine and peaceful, his head resting gently on a pillow, an angel pendant clenched in his small fist. It is a murder as carefully planned as it is brutal, and there’s one person DI Bishop needs back on his team to help solve such a calculated crime.

Holly Wakefield, criminal psychologist for the Met Police, is better than anyone Bishop knows at getting inside the brains of psychopaths. But with the body count rising, it’s going to take all their strength and resolve to stop the serial killer before any more angels are put to their rest . . .

The second gripping serial killer thriller in the Holly Wakefield series. Perfect for fans of Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Stuart MacBride and TV crime series Luther. 

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