Pan Macmillan Australia, 2009, ISBN 978-1-4050-3902-4, 393 pages
Australian profiler Sophie Anderson is working with the FBI in Los Angeles. A male body has been found with the throat ripped out. Fingerprints identify this person as a member of the Yakuza who has not been seen for 15 years, and had been assumed dead. Sophie’s investigation of the cause of death reveals that the victim was probably killed by a combination of kung fu strikes. In addition the leader of the FBI team investigating Yakuza activity believes he has a mole in his team. Further investigation puts Sophie and a colleague into mortal danger as the Yakuza becomes aware, through the mole, of their investigation.
#4 in the highly successsful Sophie Anderson series, THE KILLING HANDS could operate quite well as a stand alone. The author has included a little less backstory than we saw in previous novels, and yet just enough to pique the reader’s interest in earlier books in the series. For Australian readers there is the added interest of Sophie’s Australian nationality. Her parents Jean and Bob fly to LA from Melbourne to be at their daughter’s bedside when she is hospitalised. Martin continues also to explore Sophie’s paranormal powers, her ability to conjure visions that help her reconstruct what has happened to a victim. Sophie appears to have more control of these than in earlier books, but her colleagues are mainly unaware of them. Another thread of continuity, Darren Carter makes another appearance in this book, as does “American Psycho”, a stalker who casts an occasional shadow across Sophie’s life.
My rating 4.6
PD Martin is an Australian author living in Melbourne. In 2008 I reviewed FAN MAIL, and commented on the two earlier books in the series: BODY COUNT and THE MURDERER’S CLUB.
There is no doubt that PD Martin is a very accomplished writer.
#5 KISS OF DEATH is already available in Australia and will be available in the US in August 2010.
#6 in the series, COMING HOME, is being written as an e-book (with 12 chapters) at the astonishing rate of a chapter a week. Readers are able to vote on the path that the novel will take from one week to the next. 8 chapters can be read so far online.
PD Martin says the resultant chapters are draft only, and will be “polished” prior to final publication. Martin talks about her writing process on her blog.
Other Reviews to Check
- Reactions to Reading: “The Killing Hands is another credible and engaging outing in the series and I’m looking forward to catching up with Sophie again soon.”
- Sunnie’s Book Blog:”P.D. Martin has become one of my favourite Australian crime fiction writers and THE KILLING HANDS has done nothing to change my opinion.”