Los Angeles, December 4th – exactly three weeks until Christmas day. Angela Wood, a master in the art of pickpocket, has just finished for the day – six hundred and eighty-seven dollars – not bad for less than fifteen minutes work.
As she celebrates her profitable day with a cocktail, one of the patrons in the lounge she’s in catches her attention by being rude to an old man. Angela decides to teach him a lesson, and steals the man’s expensive-looking leather bag.
Inside is no money … no laptop computer … nothing of any value … at least not to Angela. Just a black, leather-bound book, surprisingly heavy. Curiosity takes over and in the comfort of her apartment, Angela quickly leafs through the pages.
That is when the worst nightmare of her life begins.
This is no ordinary book.
Read it at your own peril.
Hi and welcome to my review of Written in Blood!
Written in Blood is the eleventh instalment in the Robert Hunter series, a fact I was completely oblivious to when I requested it on NetGalley, oops. I had seen the cover pop up all over Twitter, I knew it was about a serial killer and when I went to check out the new audiobook feature on NetGalley and spotted it there, I didn’t do my research, I just hit that request button. Rookie mistake, I’m well aware.
Regardless of it being the eleventh book, it works perfectly well as a standalone! I’m sure that readers who have been with Robert since the beginning will get a little more out of it, in terms of characters from previous books who make an appearance, that’s history I missed, but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment in the least and I could follow the story perfectly. So if you feel like jumping in at this point, don’t hold yourself back, go for it! And if you’ve enjoyed previous instalment, I’m convinced you’ll love this one too.
Angela is a pickpocket with a conscience, she only steals what she needs and she returns all personal stuff, like driving licenses and IDs. While having a celebratory drink after a short but profitable “working day”, she spots a man being a total twat and decides to use her thieving prowess to teach him a lesson and steal his bag. She’s in for quite a shock though, when it turns out that she didn’t steal a rude but ordinary man’s wallet or laptop, but a serial killer’s diary.
And let the cat and mouse games begin! By stealing the diary, Angela’s put herself in the killer’s crosshairs. She’s turned the book in to the police and Hunter and his partner Garcia are working all hours to find him before he finds her.
Robert Hunter is the quintessential American police detective, likeable enough but I did roll my eyes every once in a while at just how clever and astute and just all-round awesome he is, smarter than anyone else, sometimes even borderline patronising to his female captain, that was a small thorn in my otherwise quite happy side.
Written in Blood is narrated by Thomas Judd, who has quite a few narrations under his belt, among which the previous Robert Hunter books. I loved his voice, which he tweaks a little to accommodate the various characters, and his narration in general and I look forward to listening to more of his work.
Written in Blood is a highly entertaining, high-octane serial killer thriller that I enjoyed, but obviously not as much as most other readers have. I know this is a novel I would have adored a few years ago, but now, for reasons I can’t even begin to understand, it felt too… American? Slick? I’m not sure. In other words, I won’t go back to read all ten previous instalments, but I do think I may pick up the next one or a few of the books in between. Recommended to all who like literary serial killers and/or American detectives.