Dance With The Reaper
By Wes Markin
Rated: 5 stars *****
I have been reading and reviewing Wes Markin’s books since the second one. This is now his 5th (discover after the review. They are gritty, gripping, fast-paced crime fiction/police procedural books that have readers follow DCI Michael Yorke. The suspects are very intriguing and attention grabbing.
I thought the previous one was his best yet, but perhaps it could even be this one. They are all so well-crafted and especially this one. It was again, a pleasure to be invited by Caroline Vincent to review, this time – Dance With The Reaper, so I thank her and Wes Markin for providing a copy of the book to review from.
Find the blurb and review and then Wes Markin’s social media links below.
About the Author
Wes Markin is a hyperactive English teacher, who loves writing crime fiction with a twist of the macabre.
Having finished the fifth instalment in the DCI Yorke series, Dance with the Reaper, Wes is now working on the sixth instalment of DCI Yorke’s wild ride. He is also the author of Defined, a prequel to his DCI Yorke novels, which takes the reader back to his blood-soaked university days.
Born in 1978, Wes grew up in Manchester, UK. After graduating from Leeds University, he spent fifteen years as a teacher of English, and has taught in Thailand, Malaysia and China. Now as a teacher, writer, husband and father, he is currently living in Harrogate, UK.
How do you stop a perfect killer?
After the terrible events of the past year, DCI Yorke’s team are on the verge of finding peace. But after a terrifying act of violence shatters their equilibrium, they are forced to dance with a skilled assassin who knows no equal.
After it becomes clear that this hitman is connected to the most shadowy of criminal organisations, Yorke is forced to dive into his own past, and face a future in which he is either alone, or dead.
Can Yorke and those he holds dearest survive the Reaper? Or will this be one dance too many?
This is the latest of the DCI Michael Yorke gritty and gripping series. There’s a mix of the literal and the non-literal within this book. Murder and music are mixed, all atuned together to create the essence of this story; there’s also the dance. The dance in the literal sense, relates to a ballet and Ukrainian and Russian syndicates.
The dance isn’t, however all in the literal sense. It’s the dance of life and death, the dance that the police are led on to follow and try and capture the victim’s murderer. In a sense, there’s the dance that readers are led on with all the different music that is ‘played’ that is weaved in and out of the story as you inadvertently also ‘Dance With The Reaper‘.
There’s some fun banter between him and his wife – Patricia as The Rolling Stones are on in the background on the radio – Radio Exodus. The lyrics that Wes Markin has picked out are cleverly apt for the book and its title. It always amazes me when people can do that.
The book shows the effects death can have on a 14 year old, even with all the support from Michael and Patricia Yorke who adopted him. It is however quite a small part of the story, but it nicely shows their life together when they aren’t at work. It’s a nice thing to see their lives at home too.
There is something else brewing as there’s obvious distress from the radio presenter Michael and Patricia are listening to and the action that ensues. The distress is for good reason. Anyone in her position would be as her life is in imminent danger. The book becomes suddenly tense.
There had been a question asked on the radio where the answer relates to the title of this book, almost… The tension builds so well as this one question will determine on if she lives or dies.
Cozy Mystery writer – Matthew Peacock is a curious man, chancing his luck that the police will tell him everything. He may or may not be a suspect.
Herbert Wheelhouse (‘Reaper’ Wheelhouse)is in a downgraded prison now from a category A prison and is 70 years old. There’s a good insight as to what someone working in the police may feel about the different types of prisons, at least from DCI Yorke’s point of view. Herbert is definitely a most evil character. It’s written with believability about how both DCI Yorke, who keeps his professionalism and his colleague – Jake feel about seeing him and questioning him in prison about Janice Edwards, and also The Youngs, a particularly evil group who have mastered torture.
The book touches on things that have been reported on the news, such as County Lines. It’s added into the story very well and makes it so current, with the issues with drugs that are going on within the UK. It’s a gritty, contemporary book!
There are unexpected connections to Patricia with a criminal – Douglas Firth, who may or may not have something to do with a murder. It’s something that may make you sit up right! Both prisoners are also chilling down the spine. There is also Borya Turgenev who is wanted for crimes, who the police want to capture, who is a ballet dancer. An impressive one at that, by all accounts, but doesn’t act like your usual dancer at all. He has a secret that he has in his room. It’s one that wouldn’t be expected. It’s one that goes against the grace of his ballet steps.
Although this can be a somewhat gruesome series, it is incredibly well-conceived and written as crime and office politics and relationships all weave together, with their twists, so it is one that I recommend.
The books can be read as stand-alone books or as part of the series. There are: One Last Prayer for the Rays, The Repenting Serpent, The Silence of Severance, Rise of the Rays and the latest is – Dance With the Reaper
Wes Markin on Social Media