I was delighted when Sarah over at BOTBS Publicity Services asked me if I wanted to be a part of the Blog Tour for Rob Ashman’s latest novel, Killing Pretties. And I’m delighted to be one of the bloggers opening up the tour!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
Detective Sergeant Khenan Malice is a rubbish ex-husband, a crap father but a damned good detective. It’s a shame he spoils his only redeeming quality by being a bent copper.
Detective Kelly Pietersen joins the team to help find a missing woman. But Kelly has a secret…
Damien Kaplan is a leading criminal barrister and a keen amateur potter. He also happens to be a serial killer with a chilling approach to creating his art. He’s married to Elsa, though she considers him more of a possession than a husband. She controls those around her using sex and procures men and women for her husband to play with but only after she’s finished with them first.
Killing Pretties is his passion, having sex with them is hers. It is difficult to say which one is worse.
The missing woman brings all four crashing together – an incendiary mix that doesn’t end well.
I’ve been missing my mad Welshman fix as Rob Ashman has been quiet on the old book front for a while, so when Sarah over at BOTBS asked me to take part in the blog tour for his latest book, Killing Pretties, I couldn’t resist!
Rob’s trademark killer hook of an opening grabbed me by the throat and all I’m going to say is “if Carlsberg did killer hook openings…”
Placing you right inside the mind of some of the darkest and most twisted characters, Rob Ashman takes twisted to a whole new level. Deviant and disturbing doesn’t even cut it as a description!
The victims are chosen according to their outward appearance and lack of meaningful contributions to society; the killer cares not a jot for their gender, all the “pretties” are fair game.
This is the first in the DC Kenan Malice series, what a fantastic name for a character! Malice is not quite what we expect him to be and he initially feels slightly threatened by newcomer, Detective Kelly Pietersen, to the team. They are partnered up and Malice’s defences begin to come down but can he really trust her?
Even though his characters are always dark and dangerous Rob still manages to make them a little bit unique, he always adds a little bit of “Ashman spice” to them, drawing them out of the pages and making them appear quite real. Which given his dark mind can be pretty disturbing!
The plot will have your jaw drop in some places, plenty of wtf moments going on here. This is most definitely not a book for the faint hearted!
Switching between the killer and DS Malice’s point of view is almost effortless and while you find out who the killer is fairly early on in the book watching the two characters stories come together is magnificently twisted. It’s kind of hard to say I “liked” any of the main characters as there is nothing particularly likable about any of them! However, it was not too difficult to be rooting for Malice, no matter how underhand his behaviour got at times. Full of twists and turns, it hurtles along at a breakneck speed. There is plenty of action and drama and as usual despite the twisted mind that is Rob Ashman, he pulls all the threads together to provide you with a satisfying conclusion but also one that leaves you shouting for more!
Let’s just say, Rob may have been quiet for the last wee while but his mind is NOT any less twisted!
Don’t forget to check what the other bloggers have been saying
Killing Pretties is available to purchase from:
About the author:
Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-two years.
Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.
It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy was the result.
Rob published Those That Remain, In Your Name and Pay the Penance with Bloodhound Books and has since written the DI Rosalind Kray series. These are Faceless, This Little Piggy, Suspended Retribution and Jaded which are also published by Bloodhound.
His latest work sees the introduction of a new set of characters – DS Khenan Malice and DC Kelly Pietersen. The first book in the series is titled Killing Pretties and the second is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Lies. Both books will be published this year.
When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.