This book is one I picked up as a freebie quite a while ago. Not sure what I wanted to read next on my kindle I thought rather than choose I'd go to the one that had been on there the longest - The Trophy Taker. This was Lee Weeks' debut, and I see she has been described as a female James Patterson - high praise to me, a fan of his work.
Set in Hong Kong, Detective Johnny Mann is working to find a serial killer dubbed The Butcher. Body parts are being discovered, and post mortems suggest the killer is removing parts as trophies. The victims are young foreign women, and the police need to clear up the case before it impacts on tourism. Meanwhile Georgina (from a town not far from where I live, which amused me) travels to Hong Kong to meet her only remaining family, her cousins. She is put in danger when she is drawn into the seedy world of hostess clubs. When the case takes on a personal element Johnny is determined to bring the perpetrator to justice.
I thought this was great crime thriller fare, and there were plenty of suspects through out the story to pick from. However the case turned out to be more complicated than I had expected and wasn't as predictable as I had thought it was shaping up to be. The violence and details of the murders are disturbing but not overplayed.
There were a good mix of characters, the good (Johnny and Georgina) the bad (Johnny's former friend Chan) and the attractive, yet unattractive (Georgina's cousin Lucy) Johnny is a flawed hero with a real sense of right and wrong, determined to get justice for the victims. Georgina is a naive young woman who I warmed to, although I found some aspects of her relationship with her other cousin Ka Lei a bit far-fetched and out of place.
As a fan of books set in foreign climes I enjoyed reading about Hong Kong, even if a lot of the focus was on the seedier side, and the Triads. It brought to mind the background to the murder of Brit Lucie Blackman back in the early 00s, which made it a bit more chilling.
I thought this was a good debut, and having seen that the author has released a few more books, and with the sample of the next Johnny Mann book at the end looking promising too I think I'll read more by this author.
Format: Kindle, freebie
My Rating: 4*