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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In The Career Killer by Ali Gunn, when a wealthy young girl is found on a churchyard bench in a wedding dress, there are similarities to an earlier murder. Could the serial killer, nicknamed The Lady Killer, have struck again? The case is given to the newly promoted and daughter of a respected detective, DCI Elsie Mabey, to investigate. Everything seems stacked against Elsie; an arrogant, misogynistic superior, a crippling illness, and an incompetent team. The killer is intelligent and shrewd. They move in and out of London without being seen. Elsie and her team must find the killer's motive and solve the case quickly as The Lady Killer searches for their next victim.
The Career Killer by Ali Gunn is a dark, gripping thriller that I literally could not put down. The range of characters is diverse, unique and believable. Each is flawed but this makes for a much more interesting story. The descriptive narrative builds a terrifying and disturbing profile of the killer. The author clearly has done a lot of research as the detailed investigation process was very realistic, as was Elsie's debilitating illness. I loved Elsie; her strength of character and determination to prove everyone wrong about her ability was enviable. She battled for recognition in a male-dominated profession with complete decorum. Everyone seemed to be against her, including her inadequate team. There are some shocking twists to the plot that caught me off guard but there are carefully placed clues throughout if you can spot them. I thought the team's relationship with Elsie developed really well as the case progressed. There are some humorous sections scattered throughout which were a welcome relief from the tense nature of the investigation. The climactic ending was faultless and I cannot wait to read the next Elsie Mabey case.