Super excited to be kicking off the Her Cold Eyes #BlogTour! Happy Friday reading!
Her Cold Eyes by Tony Black
Abbie is missing, and her mother knows exactly who is to blame.
But nobody is listening.
When the case falls to DCI Bob Valentine he has no choice but to listen. Troubled by visions of a young girl’s desperate anguish and her mother’s heartbreak, Valentine soon finds himself immersed in the most harrowing investigation of his police career.
It’s an investigation that leads him and his closest colleagues to uncover ritualistic practices inextricably linked to the highest echelons of society. As the extent of the abuse, sacrifice and torture becomes clear, how can the police hope to protect the victims from their terrible fate? And how can they trap the guilty when to do so will bring down so many of those in power?
The bloodthirsty reality of Satanic ritual and his battles with those who would silence him take Valentine to a dark place where his world view is shattered, perhaps forever.
This novel was my 127th Read of the year so far. It is possibly the darkest one yet! The subject matter of satanic ritualistic abuse of children, is never going to be an easy theme within any crime novel. Yet it is tackled in such a realistic manner it’s frightening.
This is dark and gritty crime fiction.
The prologue opens with a young girl named Abbie in captivity. She is currently being broken down by abuse and attempting to mental resist. She hears the phrase “you belong to us now” Over and over again. How long can she resist?
‘But soon I will be.
I’ll be broken.
I know I will be.
Or I’ll be dead’
Detective Chief Inspector Bob Valentine of the murder squad arrives for work. He has an assessment with Dr Carter to assess his suitability for promotion and then is informed by Chief Superintendent Martin that he will be taking over the Abbie McGarvie case. Valentine is confused at first as Abbie is currently just listed as a missing teenager. The case was a nightmare with each parent making accusations against the other. The mother’s accusations however, took a sinister tone.
It is then revealed that there is a dead body and it may/may not be Abbie.
When Valentine arrives on the scene he is shocked at what he witnesses. He finds a young teen victim with clear visible signs of physical abuse. She is found naked, with trainers on and the team instantly suspect sexual abuse. This victim is allegedly the victim of a road traffic accident (RTA).
The novel has scenes from 2009, 2011, 2015 and 2016 which detail Abbie’s lengthy introduction to the cult. They make for terrifying reading! As a parent, I found them exceptionally hard to digest. I don’t know how the real-life police that investigate these cases cope. I can only imagine the nightmares they must have.
Valentine is quick to want to interview DI Davis the original cop on the missing persons investigation and Kevin Rikards the now ex-cop who handled the abuse allegations. He also requests both Abbie’s parents be invited to the station and ID the body. What he learns from his fellow coppers/professionals will make your blood run cold. . .
“When you investigate these crimes you have to abandon all your reference points for morality – government, the courts, the police, social services, education – They have no moral authority. They are all your enemies” – Kevin Rikards
The post mortem reveals that the girls died from a broken neck. That she had sedatives and barbiturates in her system and has signs of serious sexual assault. If That wasn’t as horrific as it should be, she was also pregnant!
Valentine knows that the team are up against a dangerous elite cult. But he is also aware he has little evidence to go on. He believes the mother, former social worker and fellow police officers. But that doesn’t get him a warrant for an arrest and these are influential people of power and wealth. He even consults a professor who specialises in this type of abuse. Who has interviewed hundreds of victims.
“These people believe in evil, and believe in their right to express evil” – Dr Mason
The shadowy opposition that Valentine faces, looms in the background. It is made clear to him that to pursue justice could put his own family at risk. With two young daughters to consider, should he back off? Despite the moral dilemma he faces after speaking to Jean Clark (Abbie’s social worker) he just can’t refuse her justice. . .
“There is a reality within your reality which you cannot fully comprehend. It’s a reality so evil, so corrupt and so inhuman that if you were to fully comprehend it then your own fragile reality might begin to shatter” – Jean Clark
Can Valentine take down this elite group of psychopaths? Does a sophisticated satanic cult make mistakes? Are they untouchable by the police and the justice system?
All will be revealed. . .
Horrifyingly dark crime fiction, brilliantly executed. 4*
***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog tour***