My haul of goodies from Crimefest included an abridged audio book of Elena Forbes’ debut novel Die With Me. It’s a serial killer story, and although scarcely a ground-breaking work, I found it provided five hours of very agreeable car-listening.
Some of the pleasure derived from an excellent reading by Dan Stevens, an actor previously unknown to me. The story opens with the mysterious killing in a church of a 15 year old girl called Gemma by a man who appears to have persuaded her to join in a suicide pact. But he gets a kick out of watching her die.
Soon Mark Tartaglia and his fellow cops are on the case, and it turns out that Gemma is not the first of the killer’s victims. Tartaglia is irritated when a senior woman cop is brought in over his head to lead the investigation, and even more irked by his new boss’s enthusiasm for a dodgy criminal profiler.
I had one or two reservations. The link that connects the victims should surely have been discovered sooner than it was, and the killer’s precise motivation was not as clear as I’d have wished. Forbes paves the way for a sequel, and perhaps the next story will fill in some of the gaps. Suffice to say that, on the evidence of this debut, it will undoubtedly be worth reading – or listening to.