Admittedly, I have been a little late to the party when it comes to enjoying a good psychological thriller, but I am now a complete convert and so I was very excited to read Who Cares If They Die by Wendy Dranfield.
Officer Dean Matheson suspects foul play when an unidentified woman is found hanging in the woods. There are so many unanswered questions; Who is she? Where did she come from? How did she get there? Very soon there are other deaths, all of them women and all of them look to be suicides. With his career ambitions firmly set on becoming a detective, Dean is given the opportunity to investigate. But will it ultimately put him in danger?
The main character, Dean Matheson is flawed. The reader immediately learns that he has recently embarked on an affair with another woman, blaming his inability to cope following the death of his brother. Despite this, I felt drawn to him, and I couldn’t dislike him. He comes across as remorseful for his actions, yet confused and it is clear that his marriage is not in a good state, and hasn’t been for some time. Throughout the novel I was alternately endeared to him and angered by him, especially in situations where he is thinking with other apparatus than his brain! However, it is these flaws that make Dean such a real and well rounded character.
I was never bored when reading as there is never a lull, everything is relevant and moves the story forward at a wonderful pace. There is also a great cast of supporting characters along with light relief woven skilfully between the darkness. The storytelling itself is so easy to pick up and fall into for several hours as it is such a joy to delve into.
One of the things that I particularly enjoyed about this book is that the culprit is revealed around halfway through to the reader, and there are heavy hints beforehand as to who it is (although I spent much of the time questioning what was and wasn’t a red herring!) Most of the books I have read recently have left the reader guessing until the books end, and whilst I love a good shocking twist, I also found it refreshing to be able to really find out what makes the killer tick, dig into their psyche and see the world through their eyes as opposed to just receiving a last gasp explanation. Rather than create an anti climax it actually heightens the tension as the reader is aware of what the characters didn’t know and also what the culprit is really capable of – it is the book equivalent of hiding behind the cushion whilst watching an edge of the seat moment.
An extra special mention also has to be given to Rocky the dog. A canine character so fantastic, that I think he should have his very own novel! I will be honest, there were times that I had to remind myself that he was a dog!
Who Cares If They Die is a really enjoyable read; compelling, intriguing and, of course, thrilling! I am very much looking forward to the next novel from Wendy Dranfield.
Did she jump or was she pushed?
It starts with the hanging woman in the Maple Valley woods; the woman with no shoes, no car and no name. On paper it’s an obvious case of suicide – but to Officer Dean Matheson, something doesn’t add up.
Then there are the other deaths, deaths that also look like suicides – but are they? The victims are all women living on the fringes of society, addicts and criminals. Who will miss them? Does anyone really care if they die?
Dean Matheson is making it his business to care, even if it means he becomes a target …
About the Author
Wendy is a crime thriller writer who lives in the UK with her husband and 3 rescue cats.
She is both an indie author and a traditionally published author, with two novels released plus several short stories published in UK and US anthologies.
Wendy is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Society of Authors.
* I received an e copy of Who Cares If They Die from the publishers, Ruby Fiction in exchange for my honest opinion.