Overall thoughts: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“You’ve got seven days to find me this man, Jack. Whatever it takes. Seven days.”
My god, what a book!! I thought I loved the first book in this series, but Seven Days is on a whole new level. An absolutely incredible story which was suspenseful, terrifying and so very addictive. It was impossible not to love every single page! I’m thrilled to be sharing my review on the blog tour – make sure you take a look at all the other reviews from all these brilliant book bloggers this week!
One killer. One city. One week.
July 2012 and a serial killer is terrorising the streets of London. With the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games in just seven days time, Detective Inspector Jack MacIntosh and his team at the Metropolitan Police have one week to find him. With the killer’s motives unknown, and a mysterious clue being left at each scene, the case takes on a menacing and personal twist. Distracted by his own demons, will DI Jack MacIntosh solve the case before it is too late?
The clock is ticking.
As soon as I started reading this book, I was reminded exactly why I loved the author’s first book in the series, The Phoenix Project. It was impossible not to feel that intense curiosity creep up on me as my favourite DI, Jack MacIntosh, returns, but at a completely new crime scene. The author creates a stunning opening scene, forcing a reader to feel so involved in a new murder case straight away, and the book had already exceeded my expectations with clever description and dialogue in the first chapter! The detail in each scene was magnificent and I knew we’d be in for a treat with this book. It seemed there would be more murder than ever before, more to question and mull over, and new characters to meet, and I just knew the author would have a few tricks up her sleeve with this one. A brilliant opening, but I expected nothing less. Reuniting with characters I loved from book one felt like coming home!
The author effortlessly transports the reader to different places, focusing so clearly on different characters. I loved Isabel in the previous book, so it was really nice to see her in the series again. However, the story turns very dark as we travel to a cellar in London, where we learn of a captive, terrified and alone apart from the person who is keeping her there. Despite how horrible this was, I loved how we see the story from all angles and from a range of characters, and it really helps us grasp exactly what’s going on. It seems the killer the detectives are searching for isn’t a newbie – he’s killed before and would continue to do so until he was caught. With the Olympic opening ceremony in seven days time, the clock was ticking. Jack and his team must do everything they can to stop this guy before anyone else is murdered and before the ceremony begins. I was already deeply invested in the book and I couldn’t turn those pages fast enough!
“Had anybody even realised she was missing? They had to. Surely they had to.”
The killer was clever in how he left clues for the next victim in his line of killing, and how this was written was just perfect! Everything we learn is so exciting and I was dying to read more about the detectives’ discoveries. Aside from the serial killer case, I enjoyed getting to know Jack MacIntosh more than we did previously, and the author seems to dig a bit deeper into his life in this book. I felt more attached to him, and maybe we’d see some changes in him by the end of the story! I became more and more curious the more we learnt about the killer in this book, and it made me want to know more about his motives and how he chose his victims. The way the author describes his thought processes and actions made everything seem so real, and no matter how terrifying this was, I loved the attention to detail! It’s easy to be scared of this character and understand just how unpredictable he was in a way. Just what was he capable of?!
The detail the author goes into about each aspect of the case just proves she has such a deep knowledge of detective work. Each procedure and the way we learn the intricate details of evidence in the case makes the whole story stand out from many others of its kind. There was something about DS Carmichael, a new detective on the scene helping out with the case, that caught my eye, and not because he was your usual, friendly, down-to-earth kind of guy. He seemed a bit sneaky like he was hiding something. Could he know something about the case that he wasn’t sharing with the rest of the detectives? Could he be involved somehow? I made a mental note to watch him closely! The beginning of the book is written flawlessly and it only made me more and more excited to see what came next!
The name Boris Kreshniov crops up again in this book and I got that horrible sinking feeling you get when you just know something bad is coming. I remembered the last time the detective team went in search of him and how much worry and death he caused in the first book, and as we learn of a strange card left on Isabel’s parents’ grave, I was a little nervous about what was coming. I really liked how this book followed on nicely from book one, and even though you could probably enjoy the story without reading the first book, I think it’d be beneficial to start from the beginning so you can see exactly what these characters experienced before now. I love how certain details from book one were explored and I was looking forward to seeing how Kreshniov played his part in the story this time round. Would Isabel find out? Would she be able to cope if she new he was back?
I loved how deeply we were involved in the search for the serial killer, and I particularly enjoyed reading Jack’s conversations with Dr Hunter about the type of person the detective team should be looking for in their search. This instantly made me run through all the new characters we’d met so far so see if any one of them matched the criteria! Again, the amount of detail we read and the information we learn throughout the book is just magnificent, and it’s so nice to feel so involved in everything the detectives do. The author’s talent shines through every page and there is seriously never a dull moment. We’re always learning new information, thinking hard about all the different possibilities and getting to know characters better than before. All these factors combined to create a perfect story for crime/thriller fans who love a book that really makes them think!
“Things happen that are beyond our control. Awful things. Dreadful things. And it is a test of our own courage as to how we carry on afterwards.”
The story just gets darker and darker as another murder is revealed. We’d come to learn more about one of the girls held captive, Hannah, and I was hoping and praying this victim wasn’t her. With the killer leaving yet another shoe at this crime scene, it was clear that they were planning yet another murder. This seemed to be a clue next to every body the team find, almost teasing them about future killings. How many more would die before Jack and his team found the killer? I was so drawn into the book here and I felt so anxious for the characters involved, so much so that I constantly had a horrible feeling in my stomach. What intrigued me more than anything was just how certain characters seemed to say things to get your mind racing, especially one the guys renting out Isabel’s art space. The author never fails to impress me, and I knew already that everything would fall effortlessly into place by the end! How many surprises would we be faced with?
We make a number of shocking discoveries at this part of the book which were written perfectly, and managed to blow my mind! The author is so incredibly clever with how she writes, making us reach certain conclusions about characters that we never expected at first, but I also questioned whether these were carefully placed red herrings. Either way, I loved this experience and it made me even more invested (if that was even possible!) The connections between main characters, victims and scenes were perfectly executed, like this was the model book! With things turning very fast paced and with more and more questions stacking up that needed answering, my mind was racing as we got closer to the end of the book. Who exactly was our killer, and how close were we to finding out? An absolutely thrilling journey so far for all the characters, and I was desperate to see what came next as the end drew nearer.
The possibility that Isabel may be in danger set those alarm bells ringing in my head. After everything she’d been through in the past, would she really find herself as a victim? If my suspicions were correct, would the detective get to her in time? If the detectives had gone public with one significant detail about the killings, Isabel could have potentially run a mile in good time… I was dying to know whether I was on the right path! Meanwhile, the detectives frantically make plans to bring the right person in, and I was rooting for them throughout all their discoveries and plans. As Isabel finds herself in danger, the author wowed me yet again with just how seamless each scene was, and it was here where I found myself gripped the most throughout the whole book. I was certain my heart started to beat a little bit quicker as the pace of the book quickened once more!
Not everything is as it seems as we really get down to the nitty gritty, and some details make us completely rethink who the killer could be! I love how the author consistently keeps us on our toes and is just the most perfect wordsmith. As Jack’s brother, Mac, confesses how he feels about Isabel, it makes us even more desperate to find her. After hearing exactly how the other victims were treated before they were killed, the worry only increased, but so did the thrill! Kreshniov hadn’t been mentioned in the book for a while and I had an awful feeling it was he who had taken her, or was at least involved in the situation. I was torn between so many theories and I loved the way I was forced to rethink my suspicions and forgive myself for accusing the wrong guy (sorry he who must not be named to prevent spoilers). The ending of the book was getting closer and closer – I couldn’t deal with the tension I felt and I needed answers!
“She read the papers. She knew what this man was capable of. And she knew what was coming.”
Evidence is tampered with, questions fly in all directions and we can almost feel the detectives getting warmer and warmer as they reach their target. I loved Jack’s character already, but I loved how he dealt with the investigation when they finally get to question someone who MUST have something to do with the murders. Better still, it’s someone he didn’t expect. Interrogation scenes are fabulous, and I remember this is something I really enjoyed reading from book 1. There is so much detail and it’s easy to imagine yourself sat at the table while this interrogation is taking place. Even though we have travelled back and forth in time throughout the book, it’s most significant at the very end as we learn more about a certain character’s wife and child. I loved how everything slotted into place perfectly! And, of course, there is yet more deceit that made me hang onto the author’s every word. I don’t know how she does it!
By the end of the book, we learn so much more about the victims of the murders and I loved how things tie together so well. Dominic also became one of my favourite characters in the book so make sure you keep an eye on him if you choose to read! The ending was so incredibly clever and well thought out, and the author left me speechless as so many things are revealed! It was like the reader and the characters had worked together to untangle a web of clues and information, and every sentence began to impress me no end. Not everyone is who they seem… Absolutely amazing!! The talent of this author is unbelievable, and this book was everything I was hoping for and more. There is enough tied up to keep us satisfied, yet still questions left unanswered to make us desperate for another book. A definite 5 star read without a doubt and I can’t wait for the next book in the series!
I was completely absorbed in this book from beginning to end and was constantly amazed by just how perfectly the author has constructed each event. The story is long, it’s detailed and very heavy at times, but it’s been written with such immense care and clarity that it was so positively overwhelming. With a few curveballs here and there and so much more to learn about the characters I loved from The Phoenix Project, this one was everything I look for in a book and more. An AMAZING read!
A huge thanks to the author, Michelle Kidd, and Emma at Damp Pebbles for my copy of the book and place on the blog tour! You can purchase your own copy of Seven Days over on Amazon, available on Kindle and in paperback. Make sure you’re following the author over on Twitter and Instagram for more updates!