One killer on the loose. Another setting the rules. A profiler caught in the middle.
A serial killer is terrorising London, removing a body part from each victim and leaving in its place a single pink rose.
Dr Vernon Sange, a multiple murderer awaiting extradition, seems to know the culprit’s identity—but he’ll only talk to profiler Ziba MacKenzie, the woman responsible for putting him away. Though there’s something he wants in return from her. And time is running out.
With one killer whispering in her ear and another running rings around the police, Ziba must play a game in which only her opponent knows the rules, and the forfeit is death.
I do love a good serial killer book, and Snakes and Ladders fits the bill. It’s the third in Victoria Selman’s Ziba MacKenzie series, following on from Blood for Blood (nominated for the 2017 Crime Writer’s Award Debut Dagger) and Nothing to Lose, but can easily be read as a standalone.
Ziba MacKenzie is an ace profiler with the FBI, called back to London to deal with imprisoned serial killer Dr Vernon Sange, who says he knows the identity of the PRK, a new murderer on the loose. Shades of Silence of the Lambs at work here then, but this is very much its own story, and a gripping one at that!
Ziba and the team are faced with a deadly countdown until the Pink Rose Killer strikes again. Can she elude Sange’s mind games and figure out the clues?
Loved it – raced through this book in no time. The action comes thick and fast, and I thought I was *so* clever and had figured things out early on, only to find out that Selman had been playing me much like Dr Sange plays Ziba throughout the book! Tricksy authors…
I’ve not read the first two books in the series, but on the strength of Snakes and Ladders, I will definitely be adding them to my reading list.
If you like a good psychological thriller, with strong characters and a great plot that’ll keep you guessing, then I can highly recommend this book.
Victoria Selman will be appearing at the November instalment of First Monday Crime on 4th November 2019. Get yourself a ticket!
Snakes and Ladders by Victoria Selman, book 3 in the Ziba MacKenzie series, is published by Thomas & Mercer on 21st November 2019. Huge thanks to Victoria for the advance copy of her book to review.