Digital Reads Reviews

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A gritty tale that soon pulled me into the depths of illicit pleasures and games. Cry for Mercy by Karen Long had one of the most shocking first chapter I have read in a long time. And the pages too flew fast.

DI Eleanor Raven had a secret life, but that didn’t stop her from rushing headlong into the investigation of the kidnapping and murder of women who were posed post their deaths in a gruesome manner. With a new partner Laurence, it was up to her to scan all the pleasure points of the city to find out who was playing the most dangerous game.

The writing had a darkness imbibed in it, somehow it felt that the words took on the intentions of the author and reflected the claustrophobic atmosphere she wanted to create in the book. It was distinctly eerie and left me with a sense of disquiet.

I was no stranger to blood and gore in books; I usually read them during breakfast. But this gave me the intense feel of being in a dark tunnel with only Eleanor pulling me on. Some of the pathways were distinctly uncomfortable. And Eleanor too was not very likable. I hoped she’d settle down in the next book.

The book had a darker than normal plotline, but all the cops worked cohesively where each pulled his weight. There was a careful weaving of the scenes, orchestrated seamlessly by the author. The killer was always one step ahead, and Eleanor had to scramble to catch up with him. That made it a race to the dungeons. Literally.

A book I could finish in one sitting, a great entertainer.


Rating: 4 out of 5.


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Eleanor closed her eyes tightly against the image in front of her. Another innocent life taken, another family left grieving.

Detective Inspector Eleanor Raven arrives at the derelict power station briefed on the murder scene inside. A beautiful young woman has been found, her body posed and a cherry-red lipstick painted across her mouth. But when she catches sight of the engagement ring crusted with blood on her delicate finger, Eleanor pushes back on the grief it provokes. Lydia Greystein had so much to live for. The only way Eleanor can help now is to find the killer responsible, and she and her team immediately set to work.

And when another woman is found, bound in the same ritualistic stance and wearing the same bright red lipstick, Eleanor’s case becomes more twisted and urgent than ever. But struggling to unpick the killer’s motivations, the team is at a loss until Eleanor finds a link between the victims and a cold case, an unsolved death with a connection to her own personal life. To follow the clues now risks bringing her secrets into the open.

But as Eleanor begins to understand the killer, he starts to understand her too.

Eleanor must solve this case before more women are taken. Could the secrets she keeps from those closest to her be the final clue in this case… or will they ultimately cost Eleanor her life?


Publication Date: November 2020

I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.

All my reviews can be found here.

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