I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for Heads or Tails by Rob Ashman. This is the 3rd book in the DS Malice series and it always makes me wonder how this authors mind works, he comes up with wonderfully dark plots and his latest book is no exception!
My huge thanks to Karen Ashman for sending me an e-ARC of Rob’s latest book. My thoughts are completely my own and unbiased.
Oh! I should also say, “Happy Publication Day to you Rob” 🙂
Valerie Riggs lets the coin rule her life. Every decision is based upon a game of chance, even the decision to kill. She trusts the coin to keep her safe … it’s never let her down.
DS Khenan Malice is called to attend a clear case of suicide. But all is not what it seems. Then his world is turned upside down by a casual remark. The worst thing is … the remark comes from his seven-year-old daughter.
DC Kelly Pietersen is close to breaking point. The ghosts of recent events won’t leave her alone. She’s about to snap and someone is going to get hurt.
Valerie is always one step ahead … the coin knows best.
Right from the start, I am going to say I am a big fan of this series. DS Mally and Detective Pieterson are a brilliant combination. They both have their issues and Pieterson is really struggling to come to terms with events from the last book. While this is a continuation of a previous storyline, this book could be read as a standalone but to, for the bigger picture reading in order is definitely advised.
So, Heads or Tails. The first thing that comes to mind is flipping a coin. How bad can that be? Well, the person flipping the coin has real darkness behind them and depending on whether the coin lands on heads or tails it will provide an answer. To simplify this, heads I will have milk in my coffee, tails I will not. Now, take this down the rabbit hole that Rob Ashman and his writing take us and you get a whole different set of questions and the outcomes are dark, well thought out and definitely macabre and so devious.
This coin flipping reminded me of a book by Luke Rhinehart – The Dice Man, I read this book years ago and it really stuck with me. The premise is similar in as much as the role of a dice dictated an outcome, so in some ways similar to Heads or Tails. But the route this author has taken is very twisted and takes so many turns, throws quite a few red herrings for the investigation as well as the reader.
The author managed to portray a sense of frustration that this difficult investigation took. The dead ends and unanswered questions seem to be never-ending and when they think they are on the right track along comes another curveball to send them almost back to the start.
This is not a straight-forward police procedural it is much deeper than that it pulls in other agencies and things could have very easily got complicated. But the skill of the author really shows when dealing with a series of subplots and how he has worked them so for me as a reader the reading is so effortless. There is such an addictive flow to the overall story that I didn’t realise the time ticking away as I was engrossed
This is a police procedural but there is also much more to it than that. It has a psychological aspect that adds darkness to it, there are various subplots that kept me turning the pages. A wonderful next instalment in this series and one I would definitely recommend.
About the Author…
Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire.
Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.
It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy was the result.
Rob published Those That Remain, In Your Name and Pay the Penance with Bloodhound Books and has since written the DI Rosalind Kray series. These are Faceless, This Little Piggy, Suspended Retribution and Jaded which are also published by Bloodhound.
His latest work sees the introduction of a new set of characters – DS Khenan Malice and DC Kelly Pietersen. The first book in the series is titled Killing Pretties and the second is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Lies. Both books will be published this year.
When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx