Book Reviews

A Cold World: #AWashofBlack by Chris McDonald @RedDogTweets @cmacwritescrime #BlogTour

Happy publication day, Chris!

a wash

Title: A Wash of Black
Author: Chris McDonald
Publisher: Red Dog Press
Date of publication: 4 February 2020
Format read: Advance copy
Source: Publisher


Anna Symons. Famous. Talented. Dead.
The body of a famous actress is found mutilated on an ice rink in Manchester, recreating a scene from a blockbuster film she starred in years ago.
DI Erika Piper, having only recently returned to work after suffering a near-fatal attack herself, finds she must once again prove her worth as the hunt for the media-dubbed ‘Blood Ice Killer’ intensifies.
But when another body is found and, this time, the killer issues a personal threat, Erika must do more than put aside her demons to crack the case, or suffer the deadly consequences.

If you like Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Cara Hunter, you will love this.

A Wash of Black. A title that catches the eye.

Erika Piper. An interesting main character.

Manchester. A clever territory.

Death. I’m in!

D.I Erika Piper couldn’t have picked a better (or worse) time to come back to work after a year’s leave. The dead body of a woman is found in an ice rink. Yes, I already gave you several hints at why A Wash of Black is a gripping read!

I used to go have fun at my hometown’s ice rink, and I must admit, it makes for a great setting for a murder… Especially when the killer has drawn inspiration from a blockbuster, turning fiction into reality. There is no time to lose and the urgency of the case can be felt right away thanks to a crisp writing. It eased me into this new series with big eyes and many questions!

As if the plate wasn’t hot enough, Erika Piper must deal with the scars from an attack she was the victim of in the line of duty. Her physical pain might be gone, but her mind is still recovering. I found the author took great care in showing Erika’s soft, more vulnerable side, and it really helped me warm to her. How do you go back to work after such a long time and a traumatic event? Erika is resilient but doesn’t play hard, and I liked her even more for this. Her partner Liam picks up where they left off when Erika left, and their team dynamic is strong and clever.

The balance between the investigation and the world building, as this is the first instalment in a series, is strong enough to keep the reader entertained and involved in the case. More death and a list of suspects which would totally fit a movie cast kept me on my toes. Tension builds up as the book to movie to life adaptations grow chillier and deadlier with each chapter, and I tremendously enjoyed the dark and dangerous atmosphere.

I am definitely looking forward to reading more of Chris McDonald’s series!

You can find the book on Amazon or Red Dog Press’s shop

I would like to thank the publisher for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. This review is my unbiased opinion.

about the author

Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure, before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime.

He’s a fan of 5-a-side football, has an eclectic taste in music ranging from Damien Rice to Slayer and loves dogs.

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