It’s balloon, book and cake day today! Not only have I been given the absolute honour to open the blog tour for this brilliantly addictive debut, but I also get to share my thoughts on A Wash of Black on hardback publication day. Not only am I one excited blogger because I finally get to share my thoughts, after sitting on them since New Years Eve (when I finished the book) but also because it’s officially the initiation day where Chris enters authorhood! *Turns on celebration music, releases the balloons and claps*.
You can pre-order yourself a glorious copy of A Wash of Black directly from Red Dog Press here. If you buy from Red Dog I can promise that it will be delivered, wrapped beautifully with love AND you would have supported a indie author and publisher: win win win!
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.
Chris, as his introduction to the Red Dog kennel, took part in a Q&A, you can read about ‘The Mac Daddy’ and his inspiration for all things A Wash of Black here.
Okay, okay, I know you’ve been waiting to check out the cover and blurb! Personally, A Wash of Black‘s covers, rates in my top covers that I’ve ever seen. It is simple, yet stunning. The book squeezed into my top 2019 reads at the very last minute. Here, look, swoon:
IT’S NOT LIFE THAT IMITATES ART. IT’S DEATH.
Anna Symons. Famous. Talented. Dead.
When 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 must find the culprit; the media-dubbed ‘Blood Ice Killer.’
Having recently returned to work after suffering a near fatal attack herself, she must once again prove her worth. But when another body is found, and the killer issues a personal threat, Erika must put her demons aside and crack the case, or suffer the deadly consequences.
“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black because all things in nature are dark except when exposed to light.”
This quote that is placed before the story begins is perfectly fitting, not only because it includes the title of this book but also because A Wash of Black in itself is a sinistrous masterpiece, in which Chris is the literary artist. From the dedication page to the acknowledgements, I was completely intoxicated by the way Chris has created a chilling suspense with the use of a poetic prose that entices the reader to continue on the dark literary journey with DI Erika Piper. When creating a twisted death, Chris has created and penned it in a way that I can only describe as disturbingly aesthetic – when language meets art.
A Wash of Black is the first instalment of the DI Erika Piper series, this enthralling storyline has been coupled with a protagonist, Erika, that appears to have had some traumatic event – one that adds to the mystery of her and her personal life, but also creates a multi-layered character that not only has a professional strength about her but also a personal naivety. Erika’s storyline naturally unravels parallel to the core backbone story and it really works. Chris has managed to build a main character, backstories, relationships and sequence of events in such a way that the reader becomes immersed in the world that he has created.
I found A Wash of Black to be brutally sinister, clever and creatively plotted, it was a novel that completely absorbed me and with every chapter tugged me further in to the unravelling novel, with a constantly creeping feel of suspense. Chris’ attention to forensic detail was superb, he taught me a thing or two and i’m a forensic graduate. He clearly took the time and effort to research and check his findings, which for me, the details, is so important. A Wash of Black ticked all my crime fiction boxes, from being a tension filled, warped and addictive read, to a cat and mouse chase to catch a sadistic antagonist before it’s too late. An adrenaline read that snowballs with every chapter, each one with raise your levels more than the previous. This novel, the writing blew me away, left me breathless and hoping that book two in the series will be coming soon (no pressure Chris!)
This brilliant debut is the first in the DI Erika Piper series. It’s a very promising beginning and if this instalment is a thing to by, Chris could follow the paths of many crime writers before him, Val McDermid, Ian Rankin, I could go on! Chris and his writing has the potential to go far and I for one will be here, ready, to devour every single book he puts out!
There you have it, my review, my adoring rambling for this spectacular debut! Thank you for taking the time to read it. Also, my thanks go to Red Dog Press for both inviting me to be a part of A Wash Of Black‘s blog tour, as well as providing me with an electronic copy to read for review. Also, if you’re around Stockport on Saturday, why not attend Chris’ book launch. All the details can be found here.
Until next time,