Today I am thrilled to be sharing my review on The Essence of Evil, the first instalment in the D.I. Dani Stephens series by Rob Sinclair. Happy publication day Rob!
The Essence of Evil by Rob Sinclair
Release Date: 12th of September
Format: Kindle Edition
Print Length: 396 pages
Genre: Crime Thriller
When DI Dani Stephens returns to work after an attack that almost ended her life, she’s quickly plunged into a horrific new case, as dead bodies are discovered on the streets of Birmingham.
But with no link between the victims, Dani has to get inside the killer’s mind – so turns to the murderer she knows best. Her own twin brother…
But what makes a psychopath? Can understanding her twin help her find a murderer who leaves no trace? As the circle closes on Dani, the clock is ticking and she needs a breakthrough – before she becomes the latest victim.
When I did a post on my blog for the cover reveal for The Essence of Evil, what sucked me in straight away with this book was the chilling tagline “He’s your attacker..He’s a murderer..He’s your twin”. How could you not be taken in by that! I didn’t even read the blurb before I was rushing over to NetGalley to request an advanced copy to review. I was so thrilled when I was approved and couldn’t wait to get stuck into it. I was not disappointed. The Essence of Evil is the start of a new series featuring D.I. Dani Stephens.
Rob has crafted a plot that starts with a terrifying prologue that will give you goosebumps and which sets the tone of the story perfectly. Returning to work after two years where she has been recovering from a vicious attack where she nearly lost her life, D.I. Dani Stephens is thrown back into it on her first day with a shocking case that chills you to the bone. Dani feels it is the work of a serial killer but has her work cut out for her in convincing the higher powers that be in the force and as she gets closer to the truth she finds herself in a situation where her life is again put in danger. In conjunction with this story, we are also given insight into Dani’s attack that was shockingly at the hands of her twin brother which is done through flashbacks and diary enteries during her recovery.
There are a few supporting characters in the story and they have all been written perfectly in the parts that they play. For me though, the standout is definitely the main protagonist. I absolutely loved Dani’s character. She is feisty, resilient, stands her ground, takes no crap and her strength is admirable after everything she has been through. She is not flawless though and she can be quiet abrasive, cold and standoffish, I think without meaning to be due to her brain injury. I was rooting for her throughout, as so much has changed for her as she has to try to find her place back in the police force while trying to connect with new colleagues as well as reconnecting with old ones including an ex love. I look forward to getting to know her more and delving deeper into her past in future books.
I really loved Rob’s writing style. It is engaging, fluid and it captured me right from the get go with short snappy chapters. Rob expertly creates suspense and the tension that is built throughout is so intense and had my heart pounding at high speed on many occasions. I have read that this is Rob’s first foray into the police procedural genre. I have read a lot of books in this genre and as a first go, Rob has nailed it! It is extremely well researched and shows a confidence like he has been writing in this genre for years. I have clearly been living under a rock all these years and have to admit that I have not read any of Rob’s books before The Essence of Evil! This is a mistake that has been rectified and I am now the proud owner of all his books which I can’t wait to read.
The Essence of Evil is a tightly plotted, fast paced, dark and chilling story with twists and turns that will have you racing through the pages well into the night wanting more. This is a first class, five star read which I highly recommend and I hope there will be many more books featuring D.I. Dani Stephens to come. We need the next book in the series stat Mr Sinclair!
Thank-you to NetGalley, Canelo and Rob Sinclair for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Essence of Evil which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
About Rob Sinclair
Rob is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series and James Ryker series of espionage thrillers. His books have sold over half a million copies to date with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob’s work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn.
Rob began writing in 2009 following a promise to his wife, an avid reader, that he could pen a ‘can’t put down’ thriller. He worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. Rob now writes full time.
Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons
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