Killing Jericho (2023) by William Hussey

Scott Jericho has returned to the fairground where he grew up with his family. Since he left, he has been many things – a student, a policeman, a prison inmate – but now the only place that he feels welcome is the fairground. But his past mistakes are haunting him even there – he was sent to prison for assaulting a child-killer, which caused the case against him to collapse, and now that killer is stalking him for some reason – but that is nothing compared to what is to come.

Jericho finds himself recruited to investigate a series of murders that echo one-by-one the deaths in an old fairground legend in a most gruesome fashion, but the murderer seems to be one step ahead of him. As coincidences abound, the danger seems to get closer and closer to him. The last victim in the legend was a direct ancestor of Jericho – is he going to be the killer’s final victim?

Just a quick review today – things to do, I’m afraid – and this is an interesting one. I don’t think it’ll be to everyone’s taste – no, correct that, I know it won’t be. It’s quite violent in places and rather sweary, but there’s a darkness at the core of this that is rather unsettling.

At the core of this book, there is an effective mystery. There is a sort of clueing to what is going on – people saying the wrong things, odd happenings that make sense if you look at them the right way, that sort of thing – and the plot contains at least one genuine surprise. Having said that, there is one thing that really should have been questioned from the start that never seems to be until it is too late.

All in all though, this was a little too dark for me, with too many characters getting away with some very dark deeds. However if you like your mysteries dark and well-written, this might well be for you.

Killing Jericho is out today, 27th April 2023 in ebook and hardback. Many thanks to Zaffre for the review e-copy.

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