Portraits of the Dead by John Nicholl @nicholl06 @Bloodhoundbook @lovedreadinthis #PortraitsoftheDead #JohnNicholl #CrimeFiction #BlogBlitz #BloodhoundBooks


john nicholl - portraits of the dead_cover_high res

Bloodhound Books

Book Description

Emma didn’t know how long he hid in the large Victorian wardrobe to the side of her single bed.  she didn’t know how long he peered between the two heavy oak doors, and watched, as she slowly drifted into fitful sleep.  She didn’t know what time he pushed the doors open and crept towards her in the darkness of the night.

Detective Inspector Gravel finds himself faced with a difficult case when a local nineteen-year-old university student is abducted and imprisoned by a sadistic serial killer, who has already tortured and killed at least five women.

Can Gravel find the girl and stop the murderer?

He will learn the greater the evil, the deadlier the game…

My Thoughts

Gripping from the opening line, ‘Emily didn’t know how long he hid…’ sinister or what??  For those who like their crime fiction to be dark and gruesome look no further than John Nicholl.  I previously read White is the Coldest Colour (review here) so I knew this author didn’t shy away from the nastier aspects of crime and in this book he pulled no punches.  With a truly sadistic killer at large DI Gravel has his work cut out and with very few clues, the future looks bleak for Chloe, the latest victim.

DI Gravel (known as Grav) features in several of Nicholls books, although of the ones I have read, they read very much as standalone crime fiction.  That said I liked the familiarity of the lead investigator, an old school cop who says it as it is and his sidekick DS Rankin.  This book follows two threads –  the investigation into the missing girl and the experience of the victim at the hands of the depraved killer.

Told in the third person this is a well written story where the reader knows more than the characters as events unfold.  With some shockers along the way this was hard core crime at its best.  A relatively quick read and most definitely a page turner, I appreciate the fact that Nicholls doesn’t gloss over the grittier aspects of murder.  This was particularly evident in this book in relation to Chloe, whose situation was nothing short of horrendous.

Definitely an author whose work I will look out for, with a background in Police and Social Work, John Nicholls, I suspect has seen the darker side of humanity and draws on this in his writing, which is gripping, disturbing and highly readable!

About the Author

16711659_1341731899227084_6171292527623191991_nJohn Nicholl, an ex-police officer, child protection social worker and lecturer, has written six dark psychological suspense thrillers, each of which has been an Amazon #1 bestseller.  John is happily married, lives in rural west Wales, and has three adult children and one grandchild, with a second expected in August 2018.  He began writing after leaving his job heading up child protection services for Carmarthenshire.

John is represented by Toby Mundy – Literary agent at TMA.

You can find out more about John and his books at:


This is a blog blitz so do check out what others are saying, details below and special thanks to Sarah Hardy for inviting me to be part of this blog blitz and providing me with a digital copy of the book.
b l o g b l i t z



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