Review – Dark Heart by Catherine Lee

The Blurb

Could you live with the heart of a killer?

A mystery always begins with a murder – but what if it’s the killer who turns up dead?

Detective Charlie Cooper is on the verge of leaving Homicide to spend more time with his young family. But when the serial killer he’s been chasing for a decade is murdered, Cooper has the chance to save the killer’s final victim and atone for all the ones he’s failed.

After a life-saving heart transplant, Eva Matthews just wants things to get back to normal. But when she learns she’s received the heart of the serial killer, she can’t ignore the strange dreams that now haunt her. Is the killer’s heart telling her where his final victim is hidden?

DARK HEART is the first book in the Dark Series of contemporary mysteries set in Sydney, Australia. If you love a tough, clever detective, a loyal sidekick, an evil villain, and a twisting plot, you’ll love the first book in Catherine Lee’s page-turning series.

Pick up Dark Heart to discover this exciting new series today!

My Thoughts

I have to admit to having Dark Heart sitting on my Kindle for a while. This is the first in Lee’s Dark Series featuring detectives Charlie Cooper and Joe Quinn, set in Sydney, Australia. I began reading this book having not reminded myself of the synopsis and was expecting your average run-of-the-mill crime thriller. Boy, was I wrong, Dark Heart proved to be anything but!

For nine years Cooper has been trying to find a serial murderer dubbed the Adultery Killer to the point that it has made him reconsider his position within the homicide team. Imagine his surprise when the victim of a recent murder is discovered to be the elusive Adultery Killer! A chain of events is set in motion which takes Cooper, Quinn and the reader on an unusual, twisting journey. Will Cooper and Quinn be able to find the Adultery Killer’s latest victim before it’s too late? Dark Heart moves along at a great pace and while I enjoyed the crime and procedural aspect to the book, it is the social and psychological themes that really appealed to me.

Cellular memory features heavily in Dark Heart and gives it a thought-provoking edge. Following a transplant Eva Matthews discovers the new heart she has so desperately needed comes from a multiple murderer and this completely rocks her world. As she becomes unwittingly caught up in the frantic search for the Adultery Killer’s last victim. This really got me thinking about organ transplants and the psychological issues that can arise from this. I hadn’t given much thought to the fact that it is done anonymously or the reasons why this is the case, and Dark Heart caused me to mull this over. Lee has carefully considered the emotional fall out of finding out the heart you have placed inside of you that has, ultimately, saved your life, has come from a less than salubrious person. Would this have been as much of an issue to Eva if she hadn’t read about cellular memory prior to her transplant? While I’m not sure if I believe in the existence of cellular memory, I did wonder how I would feel to have the organ of a murderer inside of me.

Dark Heart flits between three points of view. There is the police procedural conducted by Cooper and Quinn, Eva’s experience of receiving a heart from a killer and Amanda, the final victim of the now deceases killer. Lee has also added a depth to the story of Amanda. As Amanda helplessly awaits her fate, not knowing if she will live or die, she contemplates her life and the decisions she has made. This effectively brought Amanda to life for me as more than ‘just’ the victim who has to be found.

An enjoyable read, Dark Heart surprised me with its hidden layers and thought-provoking themes making this different from your average crime thriller. As a result, I will be checking out the rest of the series.

Published on 31 July 2013 by CreateSpace Publishing.

Thank you to Catherine Lee for the copy in exchange for my honest review.

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