A Wash of Black by Chris McDonald

Blog tour: 28 January to 11 February 2020


It’s not life that imitates art. It’s death.

Anna Symons. Famous. Talented. Dead.

The body of a famous actress is found mutilated on an ice rink in Manchester, recreating a scene from a blockbuster film she starred in years ago.

DI Erika Piper, having only recently returned to work after suffering a near-fatal attack herself, finds she must once again prove her worth as the hunt for the media-dubbed ‘Blood Ice Killer’ intensifies.

But when another body is found and, this time, the killer issues a personal threat, Erika must do more than put aside her demons to crack the case, or suffer the deadly consequences.

My review

After a year off after being injured in the line of duty, Detective Inspector Erika Piper’s first day back begins with a visit to the ice rink, The Ice Bowl, in Altrincham with her colleague, Detective Sergeant Liam Sutton, to investigate the horrific murder of famous actress, Anna Symons, who has been found laying dead on the ice with awful injuries.

We discover that her death recreates the scene of a violent murder from a film she starred in about five years ago, which was called Blood Ice. The film was based on a book called The Threat and there are two further books in the series: The Violent Threat and The Final Threat. The film of the second book, renamed as Hell Hammer, is due to be released soon.

As the story unfolds, we’re introduced to Anna’s fiancé, Rory Knox, who works in advertising and was in nearby Bradford at the time of her murder. The couple live in London but Anna was visiting her mother in Altrincham for a few days and we discover who she spent the evening with on the night she was killed. We also meet the director of the films, Reuben Amado, the executive producer, Jason (Jay) Krist, and the writer of The Threat trilogy, Ed Bennett, as well as a rather obsessive film student, Ben McCall.

When a second body is discovered, a similarly horrific murder, the police realise they’ve got a sadistic serial killer on their hands and DI Erika Piper’s boss, Detective Chief Inspector Bob Lovatt, who she blames for the incident that saw her injured and out of action for a year, puts pressure on the team to slot the pieces of the jigsaw together and find the killer.

Erika has a good rapport with her colleague, Liam, and they work well together as the tension builds and the action happens thick and fast. She also gets close with Detective Thomas Calder, after splitting up with her rather unsupportive boyfriend, Darren.

Things escalate and the pace steadily increases as the Blood Ice Killer personally targets Erika and time appears to be running out as the finale approaches. Will the police find the murderer before he completes his killing spree?!

A Wash of Black is a superb read and I flew through it in a matter of hours, frantically turning the pages to see how everything was going to be resolved! There were several twists and turns and red herrings. The clues were well littered throughout the book but there were enough suspects to flummox me and I didn’t guess who the killer was!

I really enjoyed this well-written and cleverly plotted police procedural. It was compelling and engaging and well put together, with great details and descriptions. The main protagonist, DI Erika Piper, is a great character – well drawn, strong, caring, relatable and normal – and I look forward to reading more about her in the next book in the series.

Buy the book

A Wash of Black by Chris McDonald can be purchased from Amazon on Kindle and in paperback. Or purchase paperback and hardback editions directly from the Red Dog Press online shop.

About the author

Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure, before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime.

He’s a fan of 5-a-side football, has an eclectic taste in music ranging from Damien Rice to Slayer and loves dogs.

Twitter: @cmacwritescrime
Facebook: @cmacwritescrime
Website: https://macsbookreview.wordpress.com
Instagram: @macreviewsbooks

Rafflecopter giveaway

Details: The prize is a signed hardback edition of A Wash of Black, along with a ‘Go away I’m reading’ tote bag and a luxury bookmark.

The giveaway runs from 28 January to 11 February, and we (Red Dog Press) will announce the randomly chosen winner on the evening of 11 February 2020 (GMT).

Routes to entry are all on the giveaway link, but basically, sign up to Red Dog Press Reader’s Club (which also gets you discounts in our store, a free eBook, and latest news from us), following us on Twitter. Entrants who tweet our promo tweet get two bonus entries.

Enter here: Rafflecopter giveaway link

Blog tour

Thanks to Dylan at Red Dog Press for my paperback and digital copies of A Wash of Black and for my place on the blog tour.

See the banner below for more stops on the #blogtour.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s