Book review: Cold Kill by Neil White

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Take a deep breath and let it out slowly...

Because top crime writer and real-life lawyer Neil White from Preston is back with another heart-racing, bone-chilling, page-turning murder thriller.

Cold Kill is White’s fifth novel featuring wily police detective Laura McGanity and her dogged journalist boyfriend Jack Garrett who operate out of the gritty Lancashire town of Blackley ... and it’s one of his darkest and most haunting stories yet.

Two women have been found dead – both stripped, strangled and their bodies grossly defiled – and the hunt for the killer becomes dangerously personal for Laura and Jack.

When Jane Roberts is found dead in a woodland area Detective Sergeant Laura McGanity is first on the scene. The body bears a chilling similarity to the murder of Deborah Corley three weeks earlier.

But that is where the similarity between the two women ends ... Deborah is the daughter of a local police officer while Jane’s father is gangland boss Don Roberts who runs a security racket on a Blackley housing estate amongst other nefarious ‘businesses.’

Meanwhile, freelance reporter Jack is digging for dirt on the notorious Whitcroft estate where he finds himself face-to-face with Don Roberts who will stop at nothing until justice is done.

As the investigation into their murders unfolds, it seems that the two murdered women were linked in more ways than one and a dirty secret is about to surface that some would prefer stayed buried.

And behind the scenes, the sadistic killer is circling once more. Jack and Laura must get to him before he strikes again, but his sights are set on his next victim and he’s watching Laura’s every move…

White’s work as a senior prosecutor in east Lancashire has given him access and insight into the inner workings of the police and the law.

Intelligent plotting, superb characterisation and impressive forensic detail have become the hallmarks of his taut, atmospheric thrillers which positively bristle with psychological tension.

But one of the most fascinating elements of his novels is the dynamics of the relationship between McGanity and Garrett ... their jobs create barriers both personally and professionally and how they tackle these obstacles gives each story an added frisson.

These super sleuths are fast becoming one of crime fiction’s top teams so it’s to be hoped that White is already hard at work on their next case.

(Avon, paperback, £6.99)

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