Cover Image: Black Heart

Black Heart

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Member Reviews

This is the first book in the Detective Dan Riley series and I really enjoyed it.  From the first chapter I was gripped by the story.   I loved getting to know more about Dan also and his personal life.  I look forward to reading more books in this series.
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Took a while to warm up, but when it did it was fantastic. Gripping and emotional, i loved Dan's character, definitely my favourite!
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Gritty police procedural, takes a while to get going, has a good lead, some heartbreakingly emotional parts, an well-structured plot and an ok ending.
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This book was SO good! I always say the best thriller is one you can't say much about, and in this case it's true. It's fast-paced and interesting. I will definitely look for more books by this author.
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This one had me captivated and guessing what was the truth at every twist and turn! Heart-pounding read you will find yourself thinking about long after itself over....thank goodness for part 2! 😉
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Even though it's been two years since the death of his girlfriend and his unborn baby Detective Dan has not come close to dealing with the loss.When a wealthy man is found with his wrists slashed Detective Dan jumps into the case suspecting murder. Soon he finds himself hot on heels of Goldilocks , a serial killer , even if it means risking his entire career and even his life.

 Black Heart  starts slow but picks up midway and makes an interesting engaging new police procedural series.Detective Dan is an extremely likable character and I cannot wait to see where  Anna-Lou Weatherley takes him next in this thrilling new series.

I would like to thank Bookouture & NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.
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I loved this book Black Heart by Anna-Lou Weatherley. Never read anything by this author before and I am so glad I found her. Black Heart is the first in the Detective Dan Riley series and it was a great read.
I love the way she writes and the characters were just brilliant within this book. Especially Detective Dan Riley, looking forward to read more of this new detective series and his character. 

This book was a gem of a find and a must read for all that love reading thrillers.
I would highly recommend it. Plus, looking forward to read more from this author.

Thank you Anna- Lou Weatherley and Netgalley for a copy of this book.
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Told from alternating viewpoints of Dan and the killer, Black Heart makes for a fascinating read. I was immediately hooked and I really enjoyed it. It has an intriguing storyline and engaging yet complex characters. Having a female serial killer is a plus as there’s not a lot of books has them. Right from the start, readers already know about the killer and her plans but surprisingly, it added more suspense and doesn’t take away the thrill of anticipating what comes next.

Oddly, both Dan’s and the killer’s characters are relatable. Years after the death of his girlfriend and unborn child in an accident, Dan is still reeling from his loss. And though his grieving can be a bit too much, Dan is a likeable character and I would love to see his growth and slowly move on from his past. As for the killer, despite her devious nature, I feel empathy towards her. She has a vicious past inflicted by her own parents and it affected her in so many ways. It was always unsettling to delve deeper into the mind of a serial killer but the reason behind their actions can be interesting, as well. She sure does some evil things but it’s also evident that’s there’s more to her.

It was dark, twisted and extremely disturbing. It is definitely a brilliantly written thriller. Just some warning, details can be quite gory and there’s also animal cruelty. It was fast-paced and it had me gripped the whole time despite the lack of twists. But, overall, it was great. An impressive start for a series and I’ll sure follow Detective Dan Riley’s story.
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Who doesn’t love the damaged detective trope? Dan Riley is vulnerable, still reeling from the sudden death of his girlfriend two years before. It doesn’t help that her murderer has just been released from prison on good behavior. But he wants to do his job, catch a woman re-enacting her own grisly version of Goldilocks and the three Bears. Little does he know how his own life will intertwine with hers...

I thought this was a strong start to a series. Dan is likable in all his foibles. He’s all too human, and that’s what makes him a sympathetic protagonist. I didn’t think he’s a brilliant detective, but that’s okay. I did want to get to know his squad a bit more, because right now they seem generalized, even a bit stereotypical. 

Overall it was an interesting, morally muddy case with a complicated serial killer. I’m interested to see where Dan’s career will take him next. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an arc.
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Black Heart is part one of the Detective Dan Riley series, and if this first installment is anything to go by we could be in for a great series.

Dan Riley is called to the scene of what looks like the suicide of a wealthy banker but to Riley something just doesn't fit in the scene. The autopsy soon proves his gut instinct to be right - the victim had been poisoned and then his wrists cut. Now Riley has a murder investigation to deal with, one that soon becomes the hunt for a serial killer who calls herself Goldilocks....

So things I liked about this book. Firstly Dan Riley, he's instantly relatable. Yes he has the obligatory tragic back story but it is a back story, not a web of conspiracy theories that overtake the actual story....well not so far anyway. Secondly a female serial killer is always a little more interesting as not many books have them, and this one is also (strangely... hopefully it's not just me) quite relatable, she does evil things and yet somehow you sense there's something more to her.

What I didn't like? Well there are way too many massive leaps in detection....some are more like clairvoyancey! Dan's foray into internet dating whilst obsessing over his dead girlfriend is a bit strange and in the end is only a plot device. I think the author has made a brave and enjoyable foray into this genre but I would like to see less giant leaps of improbable detection in the next novel.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review.

I cannot believe that it took me so long to get around to reading this book. 

I really enjoyed it. It hooked me from the first page. This dark and twisted tale was really entertaining. I don't want to give anything away, but it's really worth the read. It's a bit different to other books in that you kind of know quite early on who the perpetrator is, but the way the author describes everything was just too good. The reasoning behind the crimes and how everything was resolved was just too fabulous and dramatic. A great book!

I am really looking forward to reading more books from this author.
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This was a well written mystery novel. I really liked detective Dan Riley!! :)

But, I feel like SOOO many of the same mystery/thriller novels have the same aspects to them. The main detective always has a back story with grief and is either struggling with alcoholism or previous grief in their personal lives.

I felt this was lacking something and couldn't quite get my finger on what. I was looking for something more unique and this unfortunately didn't deliver as I'd hoped.

It was a decent mystery but nothing spectacular.

3 stars

Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for the arc!

Publication date: 1/31/18
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A real thriller in every sense of the word ,kept me hooked and interested and was disturbing!!!
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The killer in this book, who sometimes calls herself 'Goldilocks', had a horrific childhood. Her mother, who used to read her fairy tales, died when Goldilocks was eight - probably murdered by her father. Goldilocks had to take over her mom's responsibilities - shopping, cooking, cleaning, and being 'wife' in the bedroom. The sexual abuse probably contributed to Goldilocks becoming a sociopath, and - as an adult - Goldilocks means to 'right' her life by killing three people: 'Daddy Bear', 'Mummy Bear', and 'Baby Bear'. 

For Daddy Bear, Goldilocks chooses a 47-year-old, married banker named Nigel Baxter, who's been very generous in exchange for sexual favors. Goldilocks dispatches Nigel in a luxury hotel in London, making his death look like a suicide. However, Goldilocks carefully places a custom made teddy bear at the scene of the crime (dressed like a 'daddy')......to make sure the police figure out it was a murder. The reason for the 'fake suicide' scenario isn't clear and unnecessarily complicates the story.

The detective assigned to the case is Dan Riley, a man consumed by the death of his pregnant girlfriend Rachel two years ago. Rachel was killed when a drunk driver called Craig Mathers hit her motorbike, and Dan CONSTANTLY fantasizes about the life he and Rachel could have had together, raising their wonderful child. Moreover, Dan is furious that Mathers is out of prison, and obsessively stalks him. This compulsive behavior is threaded throughout the book, and detracts from the main story (IMO).

Dan also seems to be clairvoyant, since - after observing Nigel Baxter's body - the detective immediately intuits that the killer plans to commit three murders: of 'daddy bear', 'mommy bear', and 'baby bear'.....though there's no evidence of this at the crime scene. It's not clear how Dan makes this brilliant deduction so early in the book, and it's not credible. 

As Dan and his team are investigating Baxter's murder - and learning a good deal about the banker's unorthodox sexual proclivities (including 'dogging', which I had to look up) - Goldilocks is grooming her next victim. The killer, who now calls herself Danni-Jo, befriends her neighbor - a lonely, middle-aged divorcee named Kizzy who has a cat, Esmerelda. I was rooting for Kizzy to wise up, grab the cat, and run for the hills.....but no dice. Again a custom made teddy bear is left at the crime scene, this time dressed like a mommy.

After the second murder Dan is very alarmed about a baby being killed next, and fervently searches for a break in the case. Serendipitously, a clue is found, and it's a shocker. 

While all this is going on Dan decides to get on with his life, and registers at an online dating site. After a couple of unsuccessful dates, Dan meets Florence - a beautiful, sexy blonde from North London.....and they hit it off. Dan tells Florence EVERY SINGLE THING about Rachel, which is a bad move in any new relationship, and another plot point that doesn't ring true. Dan's romance complicates his job and adds suspense to the novel.

The story is narrated by Dan and the killer, in alternating sections - so we see deep into the psyche of these two individuals. There's also an array of secondary characters, including Nigel Baxter's betrayed wife, Dan's colleagues, and Goldilocks' childhood psychiatrist. 

The police inquiries and Dan's personal life race along to a climax, but the book's ending was a disappointment. I was expecting a dramatic exciting denouement, and the book concludes with a fizzle. At one point I thought the detective might be suffering from schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder, and that Dan and Danni-Jo were the same person. But no. (Too bad.)

That said, I enjoyed most of the story and would probably read more books featuring Dan Riley. I hope though, that the cop gets over his obsession with Rachel's death and develops better detective radar. 

Thanks to Netgalley, the author (Anna-Lou Weatherley), and the publisher (Bookouture) for a copy of the book.
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The book starts with the body of a banker found dead in his hotel room with his wrists slashed, it appears to be suicide, but Detective Dan Riley thinks there is more to it than meets the eye. It drew me in and kept me gripped until the end. I would recommend this book.
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This is the first book in a new series and one I will definitely be following. This book introduces us to Detective Dan Riley, a man still grieving due to a terrible personal loss. He is pitted against a female serial killer - this is not a spoiler as the story is told from both points of view throughout, and we find out almost straight away that the killer in question is female. 

The characters are well written and the storyline flows well. The only downside of Dans grief is that we read a lot about how this is affecting him throughout the story. I did feel his grief was used a bit too much in the story, and I hope it doesn’t affect my enjoyment of future stories in the series.

Thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for providing a copy.
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his was an addictive read! Love Detective Dan!

Deliciously twisted read about a serial killer named “Goldilocks” and the heartbroken detective who is trying to track her down. 

A female serial killer is on the loose. She stages murders to look like suicides and leaves her calling card at the scene of the crime in the form of a teddy bear. She goes by Goldilocks and she has plans to kill Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear, so that she can be reborn. Once she is reborn, she can live happily ever after. It’s all rather twisted! 

Detective Dan Riley is investigating the Goldilocks murders. Detective Dan has still not come to terms with the death of his girlfriend and their unborn baby Two years have passed since they died, and even though he is still deeply in love with his deceased girlfriend, he is feeling quite lonely and decides to get back into the dating world. He tries online dating and doesn’t fare too well until he meets Florence Williams, an intriguing woman keeping secrets. When his personal life crosses into his professional life, Dan must do all that it takes to catch Goldilocks, even if it means risking his entire career.

I really enjoyed Black Heart! I got sucked in immediately and couldn’t put it down! Both Goldilocks and Dan’s characters drew me in, but for very different reasons. This is a dark and fast-paced read with a swoon worthy lead detective. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series! 

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and BookOuture in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you Anna- Lou Weatherley Netgalley for a copy of this book.
I absolutely adore Dan Riley and am looking forward to watching this character and author mature together. I have to say that some of the detecting just happened to fall in his lap but the story kept me interested the whole time.
Looking forward to Dan Riley #2.
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Thsnks to Netgalley for the advanced copy...

I really enjoyed reading a great book!!

Can't believe that Rebbeca killed three people such as Daddy bear, Mommy bear & baby bear.. She would be caught but she knew that Daniel was a policeman whom she's dating. She suffers enough throughout her childhood.
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This book started out with great promise but it soon left me feeling disappointed. It opens with a female murdering a man and I really liked the idea of a female serial killer! Jump to detective Riley and the tragedy in his past but I soon got bored with all his reminiscing. The plot was good and the characters were well developed, just not my favourite read. Not enough police work for me and too much empathis on the personal life of Riley. Thanks to Net Galley for my copy. I reviewed on Goodreads, Facebook and Amazon.
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