Dying Wish by James Raven
torture—these are not words usually associated with Hampshire’s
beautiful New Forest. But when local author Grant Mason has a heart
attack, he makes a bizarre dying wish: he wants his loyal assistant to
burn down his house. His request sets off a chain of events which leads
to a police hunt for a missing couple and a deranged killer. DCI Jeff
Temple and his Major Investigations Team take on their toughest case
yet, and in the process they uncover dark secrets that were meant to
stay buried forever. This is the fourth book in the DCI Jeff Temple
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This one started off fairly strong and fast paced with Grant dying and asking his assistant to burn down his house. I was bewildered with the reason why and then thought the story kind of sagged and dragged for a bit until the premise of an accomplice was thrown into the mix.
Jeff Temple was such a strong character. He was quick witted, smart, interesting, and for lack of a better term, felt real. I could actually picture him and his mental turmoil about the case and Angel's predicament. I thought he was well written and had easy dialogue with his coworkers and his witnesses. All his actions felt as though they would be reasonably taken by others in his situation, which is always a good sign when reading a novel that heavily relies on the main character and their choices.
I did not like that Angel became "crazy" and unrelenting about her position once she revealed that she was pregnant. I thought it was a cheap plot device to make Temple someone who had his mind divided and "elsewhere" while trying to solve the case. I think the end result of this was also poorly chosen and could have been more tastefully done but I do believe it was for the best for both of the characters and their overall choices.
The other characters in the novel weren't as developed as Temple -- or even as Angel -- which made it feel as though they were there only to make Temple more than what he was. I think with a bit more screen time, in a sense, would serve to solve this problem.
One of the things I really enjoyed out of this one was the point of view chapters from the accomplice. It made the story more intense and interesting because you got to see what was happening from his perspective, which kept the reader on the edge of their seat -- especially as the story reached its climax.
The depiction of the BDSM lifestyle in this was healthy and good, which meant the author clearly did some research about what it entailed. I loved the bit about how not all people who practice BDSM are psychotic because there needs to be more positivity surrounding this lifestyle rather than the horrible accounts of a particular famous series.
The story itself was really well written and kept you guessing the whole way through. There was a lot of times where I thought I had the mystery solved only to be proven wrong in the next couple of chapters. It was good to be kept guessing but also to be given clues -- you want to help Jeff solve the murder and stay one step ahead of the killer.
Overall: Solid 4/5. This one kept me on the edge of my seat and was super interesting.