The festive period is a time to catch up on all those books that have been languishing on my TBR pile and today’s choice is River of Souls from Kate Rhodes.
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
Jude Shelley, daughter of a prominent cabinet minister, had her whole life ahead of her until she was attacked and left to drown in the Thames. Miraculously, she survived. A year later, her family ask psychologist Alice Quentin to re-examine the case.
But then an elderly priest is attacked in Battersea, his body washed up at Westminster Pier. An ancient glass bead is tied to his wrist.
The river has always demanded sacrifices, and now it seems a killer believes it’s calling out for more.
Alice is certain that Jude and her family are hiding something, but unless she can persuade them to share what they know, more victims will drown…
I first discovered Kate Rhodes and her character, Dr Alice Quinten, a few years ago and definitely way before I started blogging. I read the first three of her books back to back before losing track. So several years later I am starting book four, River Of Souls and I have to say it feels kind of like walking into a room of old friends that you haven’t seen for years. You may need to ponder for a minute but something triggers recognition and you are off! It can be read as a standalone but I would recommend reading the others in the series first just to get yourself acquainted with the characters and their relationships.
A great opening hook drew me into the novel, the dark description of the Thames and the bridges of London as a man takes the life of a priest. The story explores the relationship between the priest and a young woman who’d been attacked in a similar manner a year ago. Forensic Psychologist, Alice Quinten is called in to look at reopening the case. Her presence has been requested by the girls family who are prominent British politicians. Just what secrets and lies will she uncover and will Alice be able to move forward in her own personal life?
I like Alice Quinten! She is a strong character, not in a ballsy kick-ass kind of way, but rather she has an inherent inner strength, professionalism, tenacity with the odd dash of self-deprecation thrown in. Her character is a testament to the author’s skill of developing well-rounded multi-dimensional characters who entice you into the pages and keep you there. Her relationships with others play a key part in the series from her brother Will who has bipolar disorder, her demanding mother and best friend Lola along with a face from the past and a potential new someone special in her life, Alice’s life is never dull. I love how the author uses these relationships to show Alice grow, reflect and develop.
The plot runs along at a steady pace and a good sense of place sets you in the heart of London with the sound of the Thames rushing through your ears. A fascinating subject matter kept me engrossed, Alice’s attention to detail kept me guessing as to the culprit and short sharp chapters make this a definite “just one more chapter” kind of read! This series is definitely on my one to recommend list!
River of Souls can be purchased