Book review: Vengeance by Roy Chester

Just when crime profiler Dr Fiona Nightingale thought a patient dubbed ‘The Mad Woman’ had been locked away for life, the dangerous psychopath is on the loose again... and hell bent on revenge.

Vengeance by Roy Chester
Vengeance by Roy Chester

Ormskirk author Roy Chester returns with the crack police team from Garton, the fictional city where crime never sleeps and murder is only ever a heartbeat away.

Former Proudman Professor of Oceanography at the University of Liverpool, Chester has been charting new waters as a crime writer since his retirement, and the dark underbelly of Garton has washed up some action-packed thrillers.

Vengeance is the compelling follow-up story to The Toy Breaker, Anger Man and The God Slayer, all featuring the same addictive mix of excellent plotting, thrilling action and authentic police procedural and forensic detail.

Leading the battle against death and destruction are Assistant Chief Constable David Mallory, DCI Gary Falcon and their indispensable forensic psychiatrist Fiona Nightingale who finds herself cast in the new role of victim in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

DCI Falcon and the team rally round to support Fiona after she is found drugged, stripped naked and tied to a showpiece glass shard fountain in the centre of the city.

Everyone is all too aware that the incident is frighteningly reminiscent of a previous attack on Fiona in which she ended up suspended in a slowly disintegrating glass lift.

As they investigate further, the prime suspect is indeed Fiona’s nemesis Debbie Connelly who has escaped from a secure mental health clinic, staged a fake suicide and is now gunning for Fiona as the doctor responsible for locking her away.

Knowing who is the ‘enemy’ makes the police investigation no easier because Debbie’s plan for revenge is far more elaborate than any of them realise and before long, Fiona is forced to go into hiding in a homeless community known as ‘the wasteland.’

On the run from Debbie and now the police, Fiona cannot stay there for long and the locals are scared, fearing a character known only as The Shadow.

As the full scale of the attack is discovered, Falcon and the team race to save Fiona from Debbie’s final, chilling act of revenge.

Brimming with tension, excitement and danger, Vengeance is certainly a dish best served cold.

(Hale, hardback, £19.99)