After seeing Sarah Flint’s Mummy’s Favourite all over the blogosphere, I was thrilled to find out that her second novel was being released this month! Taking it on as a #cjsreads pick, keep reading for a synopsis and to find out what we all thought about the second in the series starring Detective Charlotte Stafford!
Synopsis from Goodreads
He’s watching, waiting… and counting. The next gripping seriel killer read in the DC ‘Charlie’ Stafford series, from the Bestselling author of MUMMY’S FAVOURITE.
He keeps each floating in Formaldehyde to stop them from rotting. Each finger denotes a victim, tortured and butchered, their heart ripped out and discarded, replaced instead by symbols of their treachery. He sits alone admiring his trophies weekly; each and everyone of them guilty in his eyes. And now more must pay.
But who or what links the victims?
DC ‘Charlie’ Stafford is already investigating a series of escalating racist attacks and it now seems she has a vicious serial killer on her patch. With no leads and time running out, the team at Lambeth are at near breaking point.
Something has to give… and all the while he’s watching, waiting… and counting.
WHAT CHANDRA THOUGHT
Book 2 in the DC Charlotte Stafford series brings us a serial killer who takes the ring finger of each victim as a memento. He leaves behind victims with their chests open, hearts taken out and thrown and leaves “symbols of their treachery”. He has a list of people who at one point or another have metaphorically ripped out his heart so he’s returning the favor. DC Stafford is baffled as each victim is so different from the other. On top of this, she is also tracking a racist man who is addicted to drugs and attacking minorities for little reward to get his next fix.
A typical police procedural, this could also work as a standalone. I never felt lost in the characters or their backgrounds from missing the first book. This book starts out with a bang and the killer is quite demented, something I always like in a storyline. I did feel it began to get a bit repetitive and there were too many characters introduced that I got a tad bit confused with where the finale came from. I certainly didn’t figure out who the killer ended up being which is always a nice surprise. While the racial attacks were the secondary storyline, I felt myself preferring that over the main premise and would have liked to have delved more into this. Fans of police procedurals with a strong female lead will definitely take a liking to this novel.
The Trophy Taker by Sarah Flint was a book I didn’t know anything about besides the title. So I went into it not knowing what to expect. I enjoyed it! I was nervous seeing that it was book two for D.C. Charlotte Stafford though – not all are good as a standalone, but I think this one did a good job!
“He’s watching, waiting…and counting”. Creepy, right? Love the tagline for this book.
DC Charlie Stafford is back! While investigating a series of escalating racist attacks, there seems to be a new serial killer gaining some momentum. Each victim is found with their heart ripped out, and replaced by symbols of their treachery, and then each is missing a finger. Hence the title, trophy taker. None of the victims are linked to each other by any person or event, so DC Stafford has her work cut out for her this time!
Even though it is book two, I didn’t seem to find myself as lost as I have been in some detective novels (at least when I unknowingly start in the middle of a series). Flint did a great job making a strong female lead. I’ve always enjoyed a good mystery/thriller with a strong female lead (whether she’s the detective, villain, or ‘victim’) that you felt connected with. A serial killer that’s incredibly demented, strong female lead, and I wasn’t able to predict the ending (always a major plus!) were things that I loved about this. However, the downsides, there were SO many characters that needed to be kept straight. That got confusing in parts of the book – especially because there were two stories going on (the main story about the serial killer and then the racial attacks).
Overall, a great police procedural. Anyone that is a fan, will definitely enjoy this one! It was a quick read and I liked the plot. I loved DC Stafford, so I’ll definitely be looking into book one!
I give this 3.5/5 stars!
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I was on the blog tour for this book earlier this week, so check out my post HERE for my review and an excerpt from the novel!!
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Huge Thanks to ARIA, Netgalley and the author (Sarah Flint) for the digital copies of this novel; it was our pleasure to provide honest reviews.