Cover Image: The Rules of Murder

The Rules of Murder

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A wealthy young man is brutally murdered at his parents' annual anything goes party. Dani and her team work to find the killer before the next vicitm while trying to find Sophie,  a young woman last seen with the victim. Great twists, held my attention,  excellent suspense and writing.  

Dani continues to battle her brain injury while working hard to be an average person. I had a great deal of empathy as she struggled with her personal and working relationships.  Her lack of confidence to be able to perform her duties as DI created a strained relationship with her supervisor.  
I enjoyed Dani and Easton's relationship.  Easy banter, support and some humor.
Was this review helpful?
This annual ball is usually the social event of the year. This year it's different ... the  son of the hosts is found dead.  He was last seen with a 17-year-old girl, Sophie Blackwood, who by all evidence has been kidnapped.

With a murderer on the loose, Dani and her partner never seem to catch up.  With a murdered man, a kidnapped girl, and bodies piling up,  Dani has nowhere to turn ... except to her brother.  The twin that tried to kill her several years ago.

But does her brother able to actually help her find a killer?  If he tried to kill her before, can he really be believed about anything?

The brother plays a pivotal role in this crime fiction although the spotlight is firmly on Dani Stephens.  The plot is complex, yet engaging. The characters are deftly drawn, warts and all.  Suspense is nicely paced throughout.  The action starts at the very first and holds steady until the conclusion.  Although 2nd in the series, this is easily read as a stand alone, although I recommend reading the books in order.

Many thanks to the author / Canela / Hera Books / Netgalley for the digital copy of this crime fiction.  Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions are unbiased and entirely my own.
Was this review helpful?
A really enjoyable psychological thriller! Some gory scenes so not for the faint hearted but so right up my alley.
Was this review helpful?
There is so much I want to say about this brilliant book, but my words are so jumbled in my head, which is spinning so fast, I can’t articulate them properly. Ok, so I took a break and now I’m ready to get stuck into this review. What a ripper of a read The Rules of Murder is. The second book in the series, (which can be read as a standalone) this has fast become one of my favourites and I hope there will be many books to come.

Rob has created a very dark, chilling and gripping story that is not for the faint-hearted. There is no settling into the story as Rob sets the pace at lightning speed. You know when you go to get into a car and the driver starts to take off before you are fully in it, well this is exactly what the start of this book feels like! You are thrown in and at no point does Rob take his foot off the accelerator until the final page!

It was great to catch up with Dani again to see how she has gotten on after the events in The Essence of Evil. This time, the layers are peeled back a bit further and we get more insight into her and her relationship with her serial killer twin brother, who I must say as a villain, is perfectly written in this role. In terms of the structure of the book, I enjoyed the story being told from Dani’s point of view, but I thought it was great to also have chapters told from the voice of the killer. It was really interesting that Rob revealed the killer quite early on in the story, making it a point of difference and away from the norm of waiting till towards the end for the big reveal.

Rob is absolutely on fire in this book and for me, it is his best yet! Everything about this is just on point from the plot, the characters, the pace, the writing and that thrilling ending. Just WOW! There were so many times throughout that I had to remind myself to breathe and slow down flicking the pages on the kindle as I was starting to miss some things in my haste to get to the conclusion.

I think you get the idea that I loved this book, so it should be no surprise that I am including this in my best books for 2020. It just delivers on so many aspects of what makes a book great and I can’t wait for the next instalment. It was an absolute pleasure to read and review The Rules of Murder which I can not recommend highly enough.

Thank you to NetGalley, Canelo and Rob Sinclair for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Rules of Murder which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
Was this review helpful?
An unusual telling of a murder/thriller from the POV of the good guys and the bad guys.  Rob Sinclair takes some unusual twists to keep the story original and this alone keeps readers hooked.  The information for a family favor offer from the lead investigator's incarcerated brother adds a new drama as she must decide if the information is worth the trauma.  The story is engrossing, keeping your interest and pushing the tension right to the end.
Was this review helpful?
It's the party of the year and Sophie Blackwood is waitressing. When one of the guests sexually harasses her, Oliver, the son of the party's hosts, rescues her and invites her to leave the party for a stroll around the grounds,. At one point Oliver disappears. As time passes, she begins to worry and when she hears a sound, she's terrified that Oliver is returning with friends to take advantage of the isolation. What happens, though, is much much worse. Then the bodies really start piling up.

The Rules of Murder by author Rob Sinclair  is the second book in the Dani Stephens series and it is one hell of an addicting, fast-paced, twisty, no-holds-barred thrill ride. The story is told from the perspective of Dani, one of the officers investigating who is recovering from an earlier attack that has left her with some brain damage. Her narrative is occasionally interrupted by that of the killer. Although the murderer is quickly uncovered, it is obvious that he couldn't possibly plan the murders so the real question is who is manipulating him. And here is my one real quibble with the book-we are given several possible candidates that are quickly eliminated mostly because he kills them until we are left with only one but it is never fully clear, at least to me, what's behind his actions now or in the past - then again, this is the second book in the series but the first I have read so maybe if I had read the other, I would have a better understanding. Despite this, I quite enjoyed The Rules of Murder and highly recommend it with one caveat - there is some extreme violence and some gruesome descriptions of the victims so you might want to consider that before you read.

Thanks to Netgalley and Canelo for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review
Was this review helpful?
Dani Stephens is back,!! Even better than the first in the series, our unstoppable detective is thrown into a new case while still recovering from the last.  We are used to reading  several points of view, often the unknown killer and this one lets us know right away and there are so many unexpected twists which add to the story.  Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
The case was closed. Now everyone connected is getting killed. Let the games begin…
Henry and Caroline Redfearne’s annual ball is the hottest social event of the year.
But the fun is cut short by the discovery of their son’s body, apparently the victim of a frenzied assault. He was last seen heading off with 17-year-old Sophie Blackwood, and a blood trail seems to show that Sophie has been kidnapped.
DI Dani Stephens, still struggling after an attack by her serial killer brother, is thrown into a desperate search for a murderer who kills and keeps on killing. With Sophie still missing, and no clues in sight, she has nowhere to turn. Nowhere, that is, except her brother...

This is a brilliant read.
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start.
Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believeable.
Great suspense and action with wonderful world building that adds so much to the story.
Can't wait to read more of these.
Recommend reading.
Was this review helpful?
Thoroughly enjoyed this book! There are lots of twists and turns in it, with the main detectives past forming part of her present and investigation. Made for a great read, keeping you guessing until the end.
Was this review helpful?
What an absolute superb read!

This is the 2nd in the DI Dani Stephens series. Having not read the first (now downloaded!) I was slightly wary that it may not all fall into place but I couldn't be more wrong. This can easily be read as a stand alone!

A truly dark, gruesome,  exciting, unique, totally gripping thriller that had me hooked from the first page.

It literally does not give up from the very start yo the very end, it's a constant page turner.  I honestly can't remember the last time I read such a fast paced novel.

The storyline and plot are fantastically written, the whole thing just flows seamlessly without any pause to reflect.

The characters are outstanding,  you can feel every raw emotion and expression shown. Not all are likeable which makes it even more exciting. 

We find out the identity of the killer quite early on which is really unusual but it sure as hell doesn't stop you questioning everything and everyone in the book. Full to the brim of eye opening twists it constantly leaves you wanting more.

I loved the cliffhanger at the end (no spoliers) and I'll now eagerly await the next in the series!.

The biggest thanks to netgalley and Canelo for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
DI Dani Stephens was back, bigger and bolder from before. The author Rob Sinclair put her in all kinds of twists, and she came up fighting. She never gave up even when her twin brother, the serial killer, tried to get closer to her from the prison.

A murder and a kidnapping got Dani and her partner right into the fray. Soon another murder occurred outside her jurisdiction. Connection between the two got Dani thinking and getting to the perp.

My second book by this talented author, I loved the frisson of fear that this story seemed with. There seemed a wall of danger surrounding Dani at all times. It was amazing to see this dynamic cop traverse through them fearlessly. Rob really made her brain tick furiously, especially in the end when she tried to connect all the dots together.

In this book, I got to read the dark thoughts of the killer, and that gave a dark chilling aura to the book. Dani was my beacon then, whereby I followed her, loving her determination in each step. Short snappy chapters made this book a fast read, the killer made it a dark one, and Dani made it an exciting one.

And yes, I am a Dani fan...
Was this review helpful?
#TheRulesofMurder #NetGalley This is the second in the series but having not read the first, it was quite capable of being read as a standalone.  A very gruesome crime thriller that is well written with plenty of action.  We find out pretty early who the killer is which I though would irritate me but, in fact, quite the opposite - it kept me turning the 'virtual' pages as Dani raced against time to find Damian and stop his killing spree.  A few unanswered questions and a cliffhanger at the end with Jason leaving me eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.
Was this review helpful?
A unique and gripping premise, this book takes you on a wild ride inside the mind of a diabolical who ends up hitting a bit too close to home.  Eye-opening twists keep you engrossed in the story for hours on end, and culminates with a satisfying conclusion.  Recommended. 

**My sincere thanks to the author and publisher for providing a copy free of charge through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.**
Was this review helpful?
** spoiler alert ** Well the author really doesn't like Dani no matter what he says cause why would he do that to her even more if he did. I have no idea how to take Ben, is he remorseful or is he really a psychopath? I understand completely why Dani wants to know the motive to the killings. Though as most say you really can't understand the why only the killer can. This book is left on a cliffhanger for Dani not the case. I hope there is another book as I want to know what happened to Jason and who the woman is. This is a great thriller/mystery and once I hit half way I couldn't put the book down.

*I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.*
Was this review helpful?
Dani Stephens is still coping with a traumatic brain injury—the consequence of her serial killer brother’s attack. Her personality changed in the aftermath, leaving her prone to mood swings and impatience but she is slowly improving and her concentration is better. That is until her brother intrudes in her present case.

Sophie Blackwood is waitressing at wealthy couple Henry and Caroline Redfearne’s notorious annual summer ball. The salary was worth the hassle though and Sophie had her own way of dealing with it. The Redfearne’s son, Oliver, rescued her from one encounter and they walked to a beauty spot in the grounds of the estate. The following morning Dani was called in when Oliver was found brutally murdered and Sophie missing. A earring and a blood trail were found at the scene. Then a second brutal murder took place.

Ben, Dani’s twin, wants her to visit him in prison. Although extremely reluctant to do so, Dani has to investigate his claims that he has knowledge about the murders. Ben is desperate for some contact with his ex wife, who he also attacked, and their children and offers information in return for Dani’s help in securing visits. 

The Rules of Murder is told from the perspectives of Dani, with intermittent short chapters from the killer, who is identified quite quickly. I wasn’t totally convinced by these segments, I’m not sure why and, of course, I have no idea how someone with obvious psychotic issues would plan and carry out murders. Talking of the murders, there are some really gruesome scenes in the book which were a bit too much for me.

Apart from that, I enjoyed the thriller aspect of the story very much, the race against time as the team try to catch the elusive perpetrator as well as find the still missing Sophie—they don’t know whether she is alive or dead. The psychological thread, as Ben tries to manipulate Dani into giving him what he wants in return for information adds another layer. Dani’s relationship with Ben can’t be anything but complex and she still has no knowledge about why Ben snapped and did what he did. Ben refuses to talk about it, frustrating her further. 

It’s a very fast moving, action packed plot, well written with characters that are becoming more developed. Dani and her ex policeman boyfriend, Jason, are in a stable relationship, giving glimpses into her personal life. Jason has always supported her, and even when Dani did everything to push him away he didn’t give up. Dani is a sympathetic character fighting to get her life back on track.

Not all the threads are tied up, leaving scope for the next book.
Was this review helpful?
Second book in the DI Dani Stevens series. And what a cracking read it is too. The horrific murder of a young man and the disappearance of a young woman is the beginning of the murder investigation. Once again Dani's twin brother, who is currently in prison for murder and  also attempting to murder Dani , claims he has information but at a cost.  As more murders occur , can Ben give them answers.  As the investigation is trying to find any link to the subsequent murders  Dani and her colleague DS Easton are certain that the murdered young mans's parents are holding something back . This fast paced crime thriller is a breathtaking read.
Was this review helpful?
This is the second installment in the DI Dani Stephens series. I was certainly not disappointed! This book had me gripped from the beginning. It's action packed, full of suspense and a total page turner. I can't wait for book three!
Was this review helpful?
This book incorporates many different issues, mainly murder, but it is so darn interesting you have to keep reading,  The book is titled as a mystery and a horror novel with some dirty language.  .  So, if very expletive murders and scary books with bloody scenes entice this is one you should read.  I have not read the first book of this thriller but based on this book the first one must be incredibly exciting. 
This book starts with Oliver Redfearne (his parents are hosting the annual charity ball ) and his companion, Sophia Blackwood, Sophia is presumed to be helping with the ball but she slips away with Oliver.  Later people in the ball started looking for Oliver and Sophia.  Unfortunately, Oliver is found brutally murdered and Sophia missing.   Oliver’s parents call the local police explaining that Oliver has been murdered and maybe Sophia is the one who murdered him since no one can find her either. 
Although she is injured, Di Danie Stephens is called in to lead the other officers in this case.  Danie is a strong person but she also has just returned from medical leave so she is not thrilled to be in charge of this issue and where is Sophia did she really murder Oliver?  If so, why did she murder Oliver?  
Who killed Oliver and where is his companion?
Was this review helpful?
DI Dani Stephens Book 2

A young man was brutally murdered in the grounds of his parents home. There had been a party the previous night but a young woman is also missing. DI Dani Stephens and her team have been called in to investigate. But this is just the start as another murder has taken place. 

We find out who the killer is early on in the story, but he always seems to evade capture. We learn more of Dani's backstory and her relationship with her twin brother. The race is on for Dani and her partner DS Aaron Easton to find the link connecting another similar murder that took place outside their jurisdiction. They also need to find Sophie before anything sinister happens to her. The pace is fast and the plotline is believable. The conclusion is satisfactory. This is a food police procedural series. 

I would like to thank NetGalley, Canelo and the author Rob Sinclair for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I loved the first DI Dani Stephens book to the point where I was watching Sinclair’s social media waiting for the cover reveal . It should be no surprise then, that I was absolutely thrilled when offered the chance to read and review Sinclair’s latest book The Rules of Murder (thank you Canelo)! Book one really focused on Dani, her recovery and return to the force. Changing the play in this book, Sinclair launches readers straight into a grisly murder. While the POV stays primarily with Dani and the investigation, every once in a while readers peek into the killer’s mind and it never failed to disturb me. Sinclair manages to make each of the voices completely different and authentic. Ben, Dani’s brother, played a smaller role in book one but there was no mistaking his role in book two.

The mystery surrounding the murder was gripping. I even found myself gasping out loud at a particularly surprising part, startling my husband and toddler, and found myself unable to put the book down. As Dani races to catch a killer, readers feel that sense of urgency and desperation pouring out of the book.

Sinclair wrote a charmingly flawed, strong heroine that continues to push past obstacles. I’m completely invested in Dani’s story and am itching to pick up book three to find out what is going to happen with the Ben and Dani arc. Highly recommended!

**Reviews have been posted to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookbub, Dream Come Review (Blog), and Goodreads
Was this review helpful?