The DI Sterling Series by Lorraine Mace
( I received complimentary copies of the books for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.)
Retriever of Souls
Brought up believing that sex is the devil’s work, a killer only finds release once he has saved his victim’s souls. Abiding by his vision, he marks them as his. A gift to guide his chosen ones on the rightful path to redemption.
Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is out to stop him, but Paolo has problems of his own. Hunting down the killer as the death toll rises, the lines soon blur between Paolo’s personal and professional lives.
I really enjoyed this great British crime drama. It’s the first of a series and I’m already looking forward to reading the next.
Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling’s personal life is a mess. He’s separated from his wife and has high hopes of getting back with her, and his teenage daughter, Katy, is going off the rails. His professional life isn’t faring any better. His new partner, Detective Sergeant Dave Johnson, is obnoxious and has no respect for women. Add to that, the fact that someone is murdering prostitutes and dumping their bodies in rubbish dumps and there aren’t any leads.
While we follow Paolo as he deals with his complicated relationships and tries to solve the case, we also get a close look at the murderer. The villain was brought up by a religious zealot who taught him that sex was a sin, and he believes that by killing the women he is saving their souls.
There is much more to this book than the crime and solving of it. It’s a character-driven book and they are well written and relatable… easy to like, or hate. It was interesting to watch them and their various relationships evolve and grow.
This was a gripping, gritty, and, at times, gruesome thriller, with interesting characters, a number of suspects, and plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing.
Children in Chains
Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is determined to shut down the syndicate flooding Bradchester’s streets with young prostitutes.
When a child is murdered, Paolo becomes aware of a sinister network of abusers spread across Europe, and spanning all levels of society. But Joey, the shadowy leader of the gang, always seems to be one step ahead in the chase.
Has Paolo come up against a criminal he cannot defeat?
Having read and enjoyed the first book of the series, Retriever of Souls, I went ahead and bought book 2, although I was a little wary of the subject matter. Child abuse is not an easy topic to read about. I needn’t have worried, the issue was dealt with sensitively although it was still a dark and disturbing read.
We join Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling and his partner, Detective Sergeant Dave Johnson, as they investigate the murder of an abused child and discover a network of child traffickers and paedophiles.
The cast of characters from book one are back and I enjoyed seeing their personalities and relationships develop further through the book. Paolo’s home life is still complicated and his work made more difficult when one of his colleagues talks to the press.
I can’t say this was an enjoyable read, but like Retriever of Souls, it was a gritty and gripping thriller that kept me turning the pages.
The third book of the series is on my TBR list!
Injections of Insanity
Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling has just six weeks to solve a series of murders by insulin injection, with nothing to connect the victims except the manner of death and a note left at each crime scene.
The murderer, determined to avenge a wrong from many years earlier, gets close to his prey by assuming various identities.
Can Paolo win in his race against the pretender?
The third book in the D. I. Sterling Series has the same gripping and gritty style as the previous two.
We rejoin Paolo and the rest of the cast as they attempt to track down a murderer who is out for revenge.
Paolo is a well fleshed out and realistic character. I like the way he deals with his complicated home life and his work colleagues, as well as investigating a series of murders, where the victims seem to have no connection to each other.
The case has plenty of twists to keep Paolo (and the reader) busy trying to figure it out before someone else is killed.
This series is now a firm favourite of mine and I’m looking forward to the next one.
Rage and Retribution
Can two wrongs ever make a right?
A man is found by the side of a canal, comatose and brutally attacked.
It quickly becomes clear that someone is abducting men and subjecting them to horrific acts of torture. After three days they’re released, fighting for their lives and refusing to speak.
A councillor is accused of fraud.
Montague Mason is an upstanding member of the community. That is until he’s publicly accused of stealing the youth centre’s funds – an accusation that threatens to rip through the very heart of the community and expose his best-kept secret. But how far would he go to protect himself?
Two cases. One deadly answer.
As the two cases collide, D.I. Paolo Sterling finds he has more questions than answers. And, when torture escalates to murder, he suddenly finds himself in a race against time to find the killer and put an end to the depravity – once and for all.
Another dark and gritty thriller from Lorraine Mace, with an opening chapter from Nemesis which is dark and necessarily graphic, but not gratuitously so.
From there I joined DI Paolo Sterling at the opening ceremony of the renovated youth centre, a project Paolo played a major part in making happen. The ceremony goes awry when the plaque is revealed and it has been defaced with an accusation against the local councillor.
Paolo has to discover whether there is any truth to the accusation, as well as find out who is behind it. At the same time, Paolo is called in to investigate the brutal attack on a man who is now in hospital in a coma. Not only that, but Paolo has to deal with his complicated family life, and difficulties within his team of officers.
Rage and Retribution is another gripping character-driven thriller from a talented author. It’s a compelling read, full of tension and suspense, that deals with some difficult issues. Not for the faint-hearted!
Rage and Retribution is the fourth book in the series featuring DI Paolo Sterling, but as with the previous three, it can easily be read as a stand-alone.
When not working on her D.I. Sterling Series, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions. A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service. She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of The Writer’s Abc Checklist (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel Vlad The Inhaler – Hero In The Making, and Notes From The Margin, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.
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