Monday, 25 February 2019

Book Musings - The Playing Card Killer by Russell James

The Playing Card Killer by Russell James 

Paperback: 288 pages 
Publisher: FLAME TREE PRESS; New edition (14 Feb. 2019) 


Brian Sheridan may be losing his mind.

Asleep, he’s plagued by dreams of murder, women strangled with a red velvet rope then left with a playing card tucked in the corpse. While awake, he’s hallucinating that he’s being stalked by a man painted like a skeleton. It’s getting hard to know what’s real. He hopes all this is driven by his cold turkey withdrawal from a lifetime of anti-anxiety medications.

But when one of his nightmare’s victims shows up on the news, dead, Brian fears he himself may be the unwitting killer...

My Musings :

Source : Reviewing copy through Netgalley
Date read : February 21,2019
Rating : 5/5
My reread factor : 4/5

A serial killer thriller? I need to get my hands on it. That was my thought as soon as I saw this one. Oh boy! I am really happy that I was selected. I really enjoyed the read. It's another of my top reads for this year.

The characters are complex with real difficulties. Brian with his personal problems and Detective with his professional problems are a couple of the characters I really liked. I loved to read all about them in addition to the mystery involving the murders. It was a rather convoluted tale. At times I felt as if I was reading a horror book rather than a thriller. The dark vibe was pretty creepy. But it was a read that I relished in spite of my fear.

The author has applied the rather common theme and elements of a serial killer trope and made it his own with twists and turns from his very imaginative mind. The book kept me on tenterhooks till the end. The book does deal with real life problems so it has that side theme going for it too.

All in all, it was a dark twisty page turner of a mystery and thriller. And I look forward more of the same variety!

I received a copy for reviewing purposes. This doesn't have any impact on my review.

My one line review : A twisty page turner of a mystery and thriller.

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.


Russell R. James was raised on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching late night horror on TV, despite his parents' warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn't make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, he became a technical writer by day and spins twisted tales by night.

His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says "There is something seriously wrong with you."

Visit his website at read some free short stories.

Twitter @RRJames14

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