Book review: Peroxide Homicide by Matthew Malekos

Ritualistic murders, victims mutilated by hydrogen peroxide… an insane killer has come back to haunt crime fighters in inner city Manchester.
Peroxide Homicide by Matthew MalekosPeroxide Homicide by Matthew Malekos
Peroxide Homicide by Matthew Malekos

Former psychiatric nurse Matthew Malekos uses knowledge and insight gained from his work to provide the background for this chilling crime thriller which weaves a terrifying path through North-West towns and countryside.

Malekos fills his story with fascinating characters, twisting, turning plotlines, superb police and forensic detail and a memorable sense of menace.

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Dr Karen Laos is considered to be the best pathologist working in forensics in Manchester but she still feels a burden of guilt that the perpetrator of a horrific child murder and mutilation six years ago was never found.

Whilst working a night shift at the inner-city morgue, forensic Karen Laos finds herself examining the body of an 11-year-old boy found by revellers in a park. He has been murdered and gruesomely scoured with peroxide in exactly the same way as the earlier victim.

Back on the case is 60-year-old Detective Inspector James Roberts, an eccentric and unorthodox operator who investigates child homicide and has a reputation as an excellent psychological profiler.

Although he is close to retirement, Roberts is determined that this time he will identify, locate and catch the psychopathic killer who eluded him six years earlier and whose crimes still haunt both himself and Karen.

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But this killer, as we soon witness, feels himself growing in power and has a renewed urgency and strength to inflict terror and violence.

He is the product of a complicated and dark set of circumstances which will take Roberts and Karen to some of the darkest places they will ever see.

And with an appetite for ritualistic murder and an array of alarming and unusual methods, there is a very real threat that the killer will elude their grasp and strike again, leaving only mutilated victims in his wake...

Malekos ratchets up the tension in this astute psychological thriller which must surely herald the start of an exciting new crime series.

(Hale, hardback, £19.99)