A Murder of Crows
by Ian Skewis
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 16 Mar 2017 | Archive Date 31 Dec 2019
Unbound, Unbound Digital
The most violent thunderstorm in living memory occurs above a sleepy village on the West Coast of Scotland.
A young couple take shelter in the woods, never to be seen again...
DCI Jack Russell is brought in to investigate. Nearing retirement, he agrees to undertake one last case, which he believes can be solved as a matter of routine.
But what Jack discovers in the forest leads him to the conclusion that he is following in the footsteps of a psychopath who is just getting started. Jack is flung headlong into a race against time to prevent the evolution of a serial killer...
"Ian Skewis deftly mixes gritty urban settings with sinister countryside in a multi-layered plot that keeps you guessing right up to the end. Strong characters and a finely crafted sense of unease lend this debut the star quality that will surely make it one of the standout thrillers of 2017" - Dr Brooke Magnanti
Average rating from 59 members
It’s DC Jack Russell’s last case before he retires, and it’s a doozy. A couple has disappeared from the forest in a small Scottish town and at first Russell and the mouthy DC assisting him think it’s a routine case that will be wrapped up quickly, but nothing could be further from the truth. As Russell will soon learn, there is a killer loose, one who has an agenda and will not be stopped until he completes it. I liked the way Skewis developed his characters, their little quirks and flaws made them more relatable
As a couple approach the village of Hobbs Brae, a violent thunderstorm erupts, making them flee from their battered car into the woods. Now they are missing. DCI Jack Russell is brought in to investigate but is every thing as it seems. An interesting mystery that kept me interested.
A Murder Of Crows is a literary crime novel with a beautifully dark and sinister tone to it, within a small claustrophobic setting which is descriptively immersive – I fell into it and didn’t really look up until I was done. A young couple take shelter in the woods during a harsh storm and then disappear – Jack Russell (brilliantly named!) takes on the case – but this is one that is in no way straightforward, with it’s roots in the past and a village full of secrets. The characters pop – I was especially taken with the way the author tackled Alice, who has dementia – and all of them have an intricately woven history that evolves during the telling. The writing style is classically good with all the elements coming together in a truly unsettling finale. The plotting was cleverly character and timeline driven to maximum effect, there are twists and turns in the narrative but they are more of character than mystery – the final moments resonate unexpectedly and leave you with a deeply discombobulated feeling of unease. I loved it. I believe there is a follow up in the works for which I am truly grateful. Detailed, lyrical and imaginatively done, A Murder of Crows was a huge hit for me. Highly Recommended.
Excellent police procedural with excellent characterisation and a suitably dark atmosphere throughput. A young couple go missing in a storm and the ensuing search finds one seemingly dead and the other still lost. From battling detectives to battling families with history this tale keeps one on edge until the shock endings! Look forward to more of the same!
This is a great thriller novel. It kept my interest all through reading it and it was well written as well. I enjoyed the characters and the plot. I would recommend this book if you enjoy a good thriller novel.
I loved this book, it's multi-layered with a good cast and an excellent storyline. It's one of the better books I've read this year and I'd recommend it. NetGalley kindly let me read and review the book.
I really enjoyed this mystery. The author has done a great job for a debut novel! I hope there are more to come. This book was well written, kept me reading with the twists and turns as to who the killer was. This is one I would recommend to those liking a good thriller of a mystery! * I was provided an ARC to read from the publisher and NetGalley. It was my decision to read and review this book.
How do you end a long, but positive career? When what appears to be a simple case comes up, DI Russell thinks it will be an easy way out, not the defining moment of his career that it turns out to be. At first you're not sure you like Russell really, but gradually you realize how really flawed, but likable he is. His coworkers? Meh, they you can do without. But they help to showcase what a brilliant career Russell has had, despite them.While the book is a police procedural, it's really more of a character study. if you think of it that way from the beginning, then the book is more interesting and you'll be rapidly turning the pages by midway, waiting to see how the case evolves and ends. If you're looking for a great weekend read, this is it!
Excellent book. Brilliant story and I loved the main characters. I would highly recommend this book.
This was a very good murder mystery with lots of twists and turns. Each character has a full bodied character that you sympathise with immediately. Can't wait for more.
“The most violent thunderstorm in living memory occurs above a sleepy village on the West Coast of Scotland. A young couple take shelter in the woods, never to be seen again...” This is a really good read. DCI Jack Russell is close to retirement so this is his last case before he goes. Tensions are running high between him and one of his colleagues, who is desparate for his job. Jack doesn’t let this stand in his way and puts his all into trying to find out what happened to the young couple. A large amount of blood is soon discovered so things don’t look good and soon a murder enquiry is underway. There are several people in the village with secrets that they want to stay hidden and Jack has to try and work his way to the truth. This is a gripping read. Thanks to Unbound Digital and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
Really liked “A Murder of Crows”. This is very much a character driven book. Every character has at least some flesh to their bones. Major characters much more so than minor ones. We have Jack Russell, a DCI, on his last case before retirement. His partner of many years Colin Clements. Colin has an odd hatred for Jack. This last case should be a simple missing persons case. It quickly becomes apparent that this is a murder investigation. Each suspect or interviewee has their own personality. Alice has Dementia and with a part-time caretaker ,Helen. It is Alice’s son Alistaire who is missing. To add a demension her husband also went missing many years earlier. Then we have the disquieting relationship between the farmer Jerome and his son Scott. Jerome is the neighbor of Alice. Add to this mix is Matthew the stalker of Caroline, Alistaire’s pregnant girlfriend. Each adds a bit to the storyline. We also have Jack’s son who is always in the backseat of his car. The writing is somewhat casual but with no extraneous sentences it tugs at you to move forward.. No real lulls in the plot. Conversations, though minimal, ring true to each personality. The tone of the book at the start is as dark as the storm brewing off the coast that hits with a never seen ferocity in this small Scottish town. It lightens up as the storm breaks but the storm seems to double back on the town adding another layer of darkness. The one nitpicky dislike is the book blurb adds an element that I didn’t find in the book. Ian Skewis is an author to watch. He states at the end that Jack will be back. There are also a few other characters that could become their own story. The ending gives Ian Skewis multiple avenues to explore beyond the standard sequel that follows a specific character through multiple cases. I wish to thank the publisher Unbound Digital, the author Ian Skewis, and NetGalley for my copy of “A Murder of Crows” in exchange for my honest review.
A Murder of Crows by Ian Skewis Unbound Unbound Digital General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 27 Mar 2017 I am reviewing a copy of A Murder of Crows through Unbound digital and Netgalley: In Scotland the most violent Thunderstorm in living memory happens above a sleepy village on the West Coast of the Country. During the storm a young couple takes shelter in the woods never to be seen again! DCI Jack Russell is called in to investigate the young couples disappearance, though he is nearing retirement, he believes this case will be solved in a matter of routine. Soon Jack realizes there is nothing routine about this case, that in fact he is on the trail of a psychopath who has just started. Jack finds himself fighting to stop the evolution of a serial killer before there are more victims! I give A Murder of Crows five out of five stars! Happy Reading!
This book has some mixed reviews on Goodreads. But I have to say, for me, it was a solid, excellent read that kept me gripped from the beginning. A dark, stormy atmosphere pervades the book and just adds to the mystery and tense feeling to it. I loved it. The main mystery of the book is the disappearance of two young people, a newly-pregnant couple, who were returning to town to visit his ailing mother. They were caught in a huge storm and disappeared into the woods. As his last case, DCI Jack Russell looks into the case, but finds its much more complicated than it seemed at first. I loved that it switched between all the various viewpoints because it gives the reader a chance to understand the motivations and mindsets of each of the characters, which were each complicated and intense. The writing is incredible, really allowing you to feel what the characters were feeling - like Alice, who has dementia. You could feel her confusion and frustration very clearly. There are also several surprises throughout the book - a couple times I actually gasped out loud. They were pretty juicy. I hope the author is working on a follow-up because there were some loose ends that I hope to see through. I would absolutely read that!
A great setting which was incredibly atmospheric but to be completely honest I was a bit bored...and I guessed pretty early on who the killer was which was disappointing. I appreciate that this book will be loved by people who really like descriptive scenes but for me I prefer a more plot driven story. I did like that the characters were well fleshed out and that they were portrayed as real people and were far from perfect...even the "good guys" had their faults which was refreshing. A well written book that unfortunately just wasn't for me. I received this book free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
A Murder Of Crows This was an interesting read and I definitely struggled to immerse myself in the story. Mainly because I found the characters irritating but I am glad I stuck with it! It turned out to be a challenging but fascinating read. The themes centre strongly around the weather and it has almost Brönte feel to it in that respect. The characters and the weather seem to be one and the same, the tension between the key people is made all that more palpable by the raging, terrifying storm that keeps rearing around them. Upon finishing I still didn’t like the characters but the fact that I enjoyed the book I believe is a sign of good writing. It had dark almost unbelievable twists and turns and it was very cleverly done.
Ian Skewis sets an eerie tone in this interesting mystery that involves a missing couple, a retiring DCI, and a slew of dark characters trying to keep their secrets hidden. This story grabbed my attention from the very beginning and I enjoyed it all the way through. Well worth the read!
Thank you to Negalley and the Publsiher for the ARC. This is a great thriller novel. I love a good book with a thunderstorm. It was a bit heart racing at times for me. It had a great plot. It did keep me interested while reading it. I would recommend this book if you love a good thriller. Getting lost in a thunderstorm after retreating to the words to escape the storm. Survival is more than what they though while the search for them was going on.
Haha, why is the leading man named after a pooch? 😊 Anyway, A Murder of Crows was an intriguing read with a strong lead and a strong antagonist. The serial killer on the loose just finding his taste for blood and murder was a great addition and is what got me interested in this story. It was very enjoyable! ✨✨✨✨ (4Stars)!
Wow, what a great story. This is the first book I have read/listened to by Ian but will be keeping an eye out for more of them. The story was very well written and the plot kept me hooked all the way through to the end. I really liked the way that Ian read the book himself as it gives extra depth knowing that this was his idea and vision when he wrote it.
A Murder of Crows by Ian Skewis Blurb~ “The most violent thunderstorm in living memory occurs above a sleepy village on the West Coast of Scotland. A young couple take shelter in the woods, never to be seen again... DCI Jack Russell is brought in to investigate. Nearing retirement, he agrees to undertake one last case, which he believes can be solved as a matter of routine. But what Jack discovers in the forest leads him to the conclusion that he is following in the footsteps of a psychopath who is just getting started. Jack is flung headlong into a race against time to prevent the evolution of a serial killer...” The writing is incredibly descriptive and creates a rich and dynamic setting that is full of buoyant characters. The imagery is fantastic. The narrative is stirring and exciting and brings forth emotion. This writer has a good sense of how to keep you in suspense. Skewis is an author with a great talent for using the written word and creating an atmosphere in the book that relates quite perfectly with the subject matter. I found myself immersed in this book. I can imagine that his natural talent and writing abilities will only grow stronger over time. The pace had an even flow. The characters and subplots were introduced slowly enough to follow. There are various characters and each has their own secrets that you begin to learn in a way that is not confusing or overwhelming. The story and writing is fluid throughout and even though sometimes, you don’t like what you’re reading, it is still evenly threaded. The development was amazing! Can I just say that again? AMAZING! The tone of the book was immensely pulling and dark. There are SO many suspects that you just don’t have a clue who the killer might be. Just when you think you might’ve guessed it- bam!- here comes another character with a motive. It was a perfect mystery thriller for me. I love all the different stories of all the characters, each with their own suspicious stories. I was captivated the whole time. While I don’t feel the characters was fully developed, I don’t think it was necessary to the overall story. You got just enough to understand how they each could’ve been the killer and why. Jack Russel was the perfect lead detective (DCI) for this story! Even though his character is soon to retire, I hope we learn more about him and are able to follow him through more mysteries- prequels perhaps? Anyway, the dynamic of animosity between he and his partner is palpable. They provide and excellent backdrop for the way the case is handled. One thing that caught my attention was the analogy of the weather and the sense of doom in the story. (Was it an analogy? Well, it seemed so to me.) I have touched on the characters a bit but I just have to point out that I am a nurse and have worked with dementia patients. Skewis’s portrayal of a mother with dementia was dead on and brilliant. I enjoyed the different perspectives of the chapters and felt it gave a greater perspective on the story as a whole. This was an enjoyable, albeit, intense read and I look forward to reading ore by this author. 5 stars from me! This book was given to me by the publisher via Netgalley. all thoughts and opinions are my own. This review, or portions thereof, with be posted (when able) to Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, IG, Pinterest, FB, Litsy, Kobo, BAM, and my own blog. Unfortunately I am unable to provide all links at this time as I am using my phone.