Graham Masteron has long been a favorite of mine and I have been trying to read more of his books. I was immediately caught up with the Katie Maguire series when I picked up the 3rd book in the series, Red Light, and was lucky enough to receive review copies from publisher Head of Zeus for the rest of the series. Having read the first book, White Bones, I was ready to get deeper into the series and dove into the second book, Broken Angels, hoping for another hard-hitting mystery novel.
When two fishermen find a bundle of rags floating in the river, they are horrified to discover that it is the body of a murdered priest. The priest had been brutally murdered and even castrated before being dumped in the river. When a second priest turns up dead in a similar manner, Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire realizes that she has a serial killer on her hands and the priestly targets point to something sinister brewing behind the closed doors of the Catholic church.
When Katie’s investigation leads her to St. Joseph’s Orphanage, she is sure that she is drawing near to the answers that she seeks but finds herself stonewalled by the Catholic diocese. The church wields a great deal of power in Ireland and it seems as if the powers that be are more interested in protecting its image than in finding the person that is murdering its priests. She finds herself playing a deadly game and racing against the clock as she struggles to overcome the resistance of the church to cooperate and locate the murderer before he can strike once more.
Masterton is a master of the horror genre and he brings that same jagged edge style of storytelling to this series. This is not a traditional whodunit story but rather one that has all of the traditional elements of a good mystery/thriller but also has a very violent and horror-based element to the story that provides scenes of extreme violence. This may make some readers uncomfortable and the story is definitely not for the faint of heart. For those who enjoy horror or at least an element of the macabre in a story, then this is definitely a story for you. Masterton’s blending of genres allows him to create a story that is different than may at first be expected and the creative freedom to craft a story in his own distinctive voice.
Broken Angels is a very strong continuation to the series started in White Bones and I enjoyed it even more than the first book. Masterton is a master storyteller and he brings the perfect blend of mystery and terror together in the book to satisfy fans of both genres. The novel does deal with religion so it is possible that may not appeal to some fans but I think he handled it well. I admit that I am tired of reading about different scandals in religious organizations and was a bit concerned that this would become an issue in the novel and make me tune out a bit but Masterton avoids falling into that trap and kept the story fresh and interesting. Masterton’s mystery series is the best series of mysteries/thrillers that I have read in a long time and are not to be missed. They are not for the weak of heart but the violence is never gratuitous and the action is relentless.
I would like to thank Head of Zeus for this review copy. Broken Angels is available now.