Bad Moon Rising
Frances di Plino
Bad Moon Rising is a dark psychological thriller.
Brought up believing sex with the living is the devil’s work, a killer only finds release once he has saved his victims’ 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 Storey 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.
As it says above, Bad Moon Rising is a dark psychological thriller and I rarely read dark psychological thrillers but on my response to this one, I should really give more a shot. Di Plino’s novel is sensational, a complete hit with me and I just think it is fantastic. Once I got to the end it reminded me of the best of Cracker and Prime Suspect stuffed together to make a truly thrilling novel. The premise of the novel seems quite generic but as soon as you get into it you realise just how dark and twisted things really are and several characters are set up as the potential serial killer. Pure brilliance.
The best thing about this novel is how it builds, di Plino switches between different narrative perspectives, from watching DI Storey at work, in his ‘leisure time’ and in between to attempting to put across the ravings of the ‘chosen one’ in the form of the serial killer. Once the truth became apparent (only in the last…fifth of the book, I’d say) I was desperate to see the outcome, especially when it came down the scientific side of things.
As well as the killer and DI Storey, we’re given snapshots of the story from the point of view of criminal pathologist Barbara, who makes a discovery which is key to the whole investigation and leads to the climactic conclusion. Although I usually have no keen interest in the CSI/forensic side of things, the discovery in di Plino’s novel is fascinating and horrific simultaneously and although it’s hinted at from the very beginning I could not possibly have guessed.
DI Storey’s personal story reminded me again of Cracker and the personal trials of Robbie Coltrane’s character throughout the series. By hearing the personal experiences and thoughts of the DI it makes the whole story more genuine and multidimensional rather than being just a straightforward cop catches killer (or not) tale.
Bad Moon Rising is a cleverly written, sharp novel which is the literary equivalent of some of my favourite gritty crime dramas and with the writing prowess of such script writers as Jimmy McGovern and Paul Abbott, Frances di Plino could seriously go far. In fact, I’d love to see Bad Moon Rising dramatised.
Thanks to Laurence at Crooked Cat Publishing for sending me this book to review.