The novel is set in San Francisco, like the first novel ‘The Poison Artist’ (2016). It is said that there will be one more novel called ‘The Night Market’ (2018) also set in San Francisco. These three books are stand-alones and can be read which ever way you want. I will begin this review with a summary of the novel and then I’ll explain why I gave this rating.
Our main character is SFPD inspector Gavin Cain who gets called during an exhumation – ‘digging of the grave’ into a different case that involves the San Francisco’s mayor who is being blackmailed. The mayor got a package containing four photographs: the first, a blonde woman (who looks like Lauren Bacall y’all); the second, pills and handcuffs on a nightstand; the third, the woman drinking from a flask; and last, the woman naked, unconscious, and shackled to a bed. These photographs are accompanied with a note that says that if the mayor doesn’t kill himself there will be more ghastly things coming his way. The story sets off from that point on, onto a crazy ride of mystery – who’s the woman in the photographs and why have these photographs been sent to the mayor of San Francisco?
First of all I must say that ‘The Poison Artist’ was much better than this one. I had problems with this novel because it didn’t reveal much/or anything at all about what happened in the first novel. The plot itself was well thought of but not done as good as I had hoped Moore would. The characters were fine and there were interesting backstories to some of them but overall the characterisation was weak. I wish I’d seen more depth in the characters. I feel like the end of the story was sort of rushed but the plot twist at the end was very well done (even though it was sort of predictable).
If you’re new to Jonathan Moore and want to start with this book I would not recommend it. Start with ‘The Poison Artist’ and then go decide if you want to read this one. I will wait and see if his third one will be good or bad.
Jonathan Moore is a Bram Stoker Award nominated author of dark thrillers.
Before graduating from law school in New Orleans, he lived in Taiwan for three years, guided whitewater raft trips on the Rio Grande, and worked as an investigator for a criminal defense attorney in Washington, D.C. He has also been an English teacher, a bar owner, a counselor at a wilderness camp for juvenile delinquents, and a textbook writer.