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The Sixth Soul by Mark Roberts

In London, four pregnant women have been abducted and killed, and a fifth woman has just been taken from her own home. The press have nicknamed the brutal serial killer Herod, his motives for such heinous crimes unknown.

DCI David Rosen is leading the investigations, but is struggling to balance his work commitments with his personal life, and after the fifth abduction, time is against him. Then Rosen gets an unexpected phone call from the enigmatic Father Sebastian Flint, a priest who seems to know far too much about the abductions. Rosen learns that Father Flint is an expert in the occult and has something of a dark past himself.

As the killer increases his pace, Rosen struggles to work with what little evidence he has, as well as dealing with difficult members of his team and a potential cover up of information by church officials. As the case progresses into more sinister territory, Rosen and his team must race into danger to save the sixth unfortunate victim.

I’ve always enjoyed crime novels, but I particularly liked the occult themes in this one. I liked the myths proposed for the killer’s motives and there were some religious themes but they weren’t too overbearing. I got a bit confused with the police characters’ names on the investigation at times as there are quite a few of them, but this didn’t detract from the story . Fast paced and disturbing, this is certainly a compelling debut!

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