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Detective Inspector Andrew Hicks thinks he knows all about murder. However horrific the act, the reasons behind a crime are usually easy to explain. So when a woman is found bludgeoned to death, he suspects a crime of passion and attention focuses on her possessive ex-husband. But when a second body is found, similarly beaten, Hicks is forced to think again.
When more murders arrive in quick succession, Hicks realizes he is dealing with a type of killer he has never faced before, one who fits nowhere within his logic. Then the letters begin to arrive . . .
As the death toll rises, Hicks must face not only a killer obsessed with randomness and chaos, but also a secret in his own past. If he is to stop the killings, he must confront the truth about himself . . .
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Review by Travis Starnes
The Murder Code follows detective Andrew Hick and his partner as they try and solve a series of violent and random serial murders. As an American reading this book the first thing that really jumped out at me is how very British it is. That is not a bad thing mind you, just something that stuck out to me.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. As with any mystery novel the most important part, at least for me, is the mystery itself. And the mystery in this book works well. It isn’t something the reader can figure out ahead of time, you just don’t get enough information, but it is enjoyable to watch Hicks work through it. There are some red hearings and a nice, although not unforeseen, twist at the end of the book. As a mystery this The Murder Code is firing on all cylinders and worth the read.
The characters are both the good and less good, although not bad, part of the book. It takes a little while for Hicks to start really feeling like a real character but once he hits his stride he really works. The supporting cast is much less fleshed out but Hicks is solid enough to carry everyone else along. My only real problem with Hicks is he goes from wooden with too little character and swings the pendulum all the way over to where we start getting to much character work. The second half of the book starts feeding us a lot of background on Hicks that wasn’t really needed. I wanted to find out more about the murder, not wade through Hicks backstory.
That brings me to the only real flaw in this book, the pacing is off. There are too many digressions to what I would consider irrelevant material, mostly revolving around Hicks. For this kind of book the central mystery is king and Mosbey really needed to focus more on it. The other drawback I have heard is that this book is overly violent but I don’t agree with that as much. Sure it was violent but it didn’t feel as over the top as other books I have read.
Even with that complain this isn’t a bad book and worth a read for fans of mystery novels. It might be a little slower read then some titles that are more focused in their direction but it is still worth checking out.