Vendetta by Dreda Say Mitchell (Rio Wray #1)


My Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: Two murders. Two different crime scenes. One killer? Mac wakes in a smashed-up hotel room with no recollection of what has happened. With his lover’s corpse in the bathroom and the evidence suggesting that he killed her, Mac is on a mission to uncover the truth and find the real killer.

But he’s in a race against time with less than a day to unravel the mystery. Still reeling from a personal tragedy Mac isn’t afraid of pain. Hot on his heels is tenacious Detective Inspector Rio Wray. Double-crossed and in the line of fire, Mac has to swim through a sea of lies to get to the truth. 

But only Mac knows he’s been living a double life. Can he be sure he doesn’t have the blood of a dead woman on his hands?

My Review: For those that have read Dreda’s previous book such as Gangster Girl, don’t expect more of the same. It seems that Dreda has taken a bit of a turn away from that type of story and has instead immersed herself in a somewhat twisted but gripping type of book. The synopsis kind of speaks for itself in the first line alone. Mac wakes in a hotel room covered in blood and his girlfriend dead in the bath. I liked Mac, although from the very beginning wasn’t too sure what to make of his situation. There are more twists that a French plait and I spent my whole time from start to finish suspecting every person featured in the book.

The pace is ratcheted up to maximum level and from the first page right to the very last one I had that breathless feeling where things are just happening way too quickly…and somebody was always close behind! D.I Rio Wray makes her appearance as a very ballsy character and I would actually love to see her in future books as she made such an impact. Mac although enjoyable to read, took me longer to actually like (but when you read it you will see why).

This style of writing is a cross between a really fast paced Kernick and a real ‘who-dunnit’. There was something refreshing reading something from an author who has slightly changed tack. In addition to Mac being well and truly up the creek and without a paddle, the story is layered back slowly and his history becomes more apparent. Now normally this would help the reader come to a conclusion about things. Oh no, not in this book…it just added more suspicion to every character. My husband actually commented that he had never know me read a book where I had boldly stated “I know who it is” so many times!!!!

At first I was unsure how I felt about the change in direction for Dreda Say-Mitchel, but having read Vendetta I can honestly say I think she has once again done an amazing job. Now if I’m being brutally honest (when am I anything but?), some of her fans may not be quite so keen on this change. Maybe people will think she should have carried on her books from previously? Each to their own is what I say, but I am an avid crime reader (right across the board) and sometimes a change is as good as a rest. I only had minor criticisms (and they really were minor) such as one or two occasions I remember thinking “no way could that have happened” but that aside I really enjoyed this latest outing and cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next!

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