THE SURROGATE - Tania Carver
A debut novel, THE SURROGATE could be quite confrontational reading for many people. The image of unborn babies torn from their dead mother's bodies - dead themselves, or more shockingly possibly still alive is going to shock. Undoubtedly.
DI Phil Brennan, a loveless and abused child, risen to a policeman driven by a sense of responsibility, shocked himself at the nature of the crime that he is investigating is undoubtedly going to engender sympathy in readers.
The idea that there could be a woman behind these crimes, well again more shock.
And that's possibly what my major problem with this book is - everything seems to be designed to shock, the overt violence, a basic premise designed to discomfort readers, a policeman crafted to draw sympathy, a villain of such extreme villany that you have to be scared, hate, react somehow.
I will confess to being very very adverse to overt violence coupled with extreme planning and plotting, committed by a madder than mad on a day out from mad town lunatic though. That sort of scenario doesn't work for me, and instantly switches on a groan reflex that I find nearly impossible to prevent.
Whilst this is a competently written book, I found the whole scenario way too over the top, the attempts to manipulate reactions too overt and the characterisations too predictable for my taste.
A sickening killer is on the loose - a killer like no other. This murderer targets heavily pregnant women, drugging them and brutally removing their unborn babies.
When DI Phil Brennan is called to the latest murder scene, he knows he has entered the world of the most depraved killer he has ever encountered. After a loveless, abused childhood, Phil knows evil well, but nothing in his life has prepared him for this.
And when criminal profiler Marina Esposito is brought in to help solve the case, she delivers a bombshell: she believes there is a woman involved in the killing, a woman desperate for children...