Death Trap by Dreda Say Mitchell (Rio Wray #2)

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Synopsis: Teenager Nikki Bell is the only witness to the brutal murder of two members of her family and their cleaner. She’s lucky to be alive. But the murder isn’t a one-off. It’s part of a bigger, more violent attack planned on affluent families in the area – and now Nikki, as the only living witness, is a dangerous threat to the well-orchestrated scheme.

As the net draws tighter around the killers, DI Rio Wray must do whatever it takes to keep Nikki alive. But when you’re dealing with criminals, there’s no line they won’t cross… In a kill-or-be-killed-world, who will be first to pull the trigger?

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

Kat’s Review: I was so excited to get this book and after reading Vendetta and wanting to read more about DI Rio Wray. She is back and with a whole book dedicated to her we get to see what she is all about. This latest book features the young teenager Nikki Bell. Her home situation is that of a normal teenager, where her IPad is more important than anyone or anything. When two of her family are murdered in cold blood and she becomes the only living witness her life becomes extremely complicated.

Rio Wray is actually NOT the typical ‘I live by my own rules’ kind of copper and I have to say it made a refreshing change. She is one that plays by the book and does things in accordance with the law. When she is called in to this murder case of Nikki’s family she has no idea just how involved in this case she will get. It’s soon clear that this is the tip of the iceberg and that these murders are not a one off, and are part of a larger gang operating in the area. Although Rio is working with other colleagues then one that features most highly is Jack Strong. It’s obvious from the outset there is no love lost between Rio and Jack, but the reasoning behind it isn’t obvious right away.

There is a LOT going on in this story but it flows seamlessly and then another very interesting character is introduced in the form of Calum Burns. Calum and Rio have a history although how much of a history and why is not revealed until much later in the book. I really liked Calum and though he brought another angle to the story. As well as Wray and her colleagues working on the murders, you have Rio and Calum unpicking their friendship history whilst trying to help each other in their current jobs.

There is a very different feel with this book and character than DSM has previously written but that’s certainly not a negative. The one thing that hasn’t changed is characters I loved and a plot full of suspense. There were plenty of goings on to keep the reader challenged and I devoured this book with the feeling that I really need to see what comes next for Rio.

This was overall another cracking book from DSM. Why the 4 stars and not 5? Well I would say this was a little slower to get started than some others, but once you are past that it ratchets up from 0-100 in a matter of pages. The other thing that totally threw me was the ending. I absolutely loved the ending and it made me feel that was the right outcome. However, when I turned the last page I was in for a surprise…the book then followed with an ‘alternative ending’. What on earth was that all about? Of course I had to read it, and then wished I hadn’t. It then put a new spin on the story making me question which ending I preferred. I’m not sure whether I think that’s a good move or not, but I guess it gives you an insight into what the author has to face when deciding how to end a book. I am certainly going to be queuing up to pre-order the next book featuring Rio.

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