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Heads or Tails: When life or death is a game of chance (DS Malice Series Book 3) by Rob Ashman

The Blurb:

Valerie Riggs lets the coin rule her life. Every decision is based upon a game of chance, even the decision to kill. She trusts the coin to keep her safe … it’s never let her down. DS Khenan Malice is called to attend a clear case of suicide. But all is not what it seems. Then his world is turned upside down by a casual remark. The worst thing is … the remark comes from his seven-year-old daughter. DC Kelly Pietersen is close to breaking point. The ghosts of recent events won’t leave her alone. She’s about to snap and someone is going to get hurt. Valerie is always one step ahead … the coin knows best.

About Rob Ashman:

Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire. Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he's worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad. It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy was the result. Rob published Those That Remain, In Your Name and Pay the Penance with Bloodhound Books and has since written the DI Rosalind Kray series. These are Faceless, This Little Piggy, Suspended Retribution and Jaded which are also published by Bloodhound. His latest work sees the introduction of a new set of characters - DS Khenan Malice and DC Kelly Pietersen. The first book in the series is titled Killing Pretties and the second is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Lies. Both books will be published this year. When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

My Review:

Ritualistic behaviour, at its worst, can control the life of some people, who cannot make their next move until some external influence has occurred or been seen. What would occur if this obsessive style of life existed within the mind of a serial killer? Author Rob Ashman has approached this dark concept by creating this chilling story involving whether a victim lives or dies depending on the toss of a coin. The coin belongs to one Valerie Riggs, one of the most calculating serial killers that covered her tracks with a precision that bamboozled the both crime scene investigators and detectives. DS Khenan Malice, (affectionately known as Mally) and his sidekick DC Kelly Pietersen attend a suspected suicide that becomes a murder inquiry. Not much is known about the victim and his background becomes more ambiguous when a special branch detective Jacinda Paget muscles in on the investigation. Unwelcomed by Superintendent Samantha Waite, there appears to be some immediate chemistry going on between Paget and Mally, who is licking his wounds after a bout of jealousy having discovered that his estranged wife has a new man in her life. Kelly also has her troubles following on from the ordeal that she went through in book two, which is referred to at points during the course of this book, but does not detract from the story. Anyone new to the Malice series could start at this point, and it's likely that the new reader will want more and then get books one and two. The whole book was gripping and dark from start to finish with lots of intrigue. Cannot wait for book four.

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