‘Splinter in the Blood’ by Ashley Dyer

Splinter in the Blood, from a British writing duo named Ashley Dyer, is a dark debut with a serial killer at the center of the plot. A Liverpool detective, Greg Carver, is hunting the Thorn Killer, who poses the victims after tattooing them using a thorn and ink mixed with plant poison.

Carver is attacked in his home, and his partner, Ruth Lake, tampers with the scene of the crime. Carver has no memory of the attack but believes the Thorn Killer is behind it.

The novel combines elements of psychological thriller and procedural. The use of multiple POV includes the unidentified killer. At times, the forensic details, while interesting, tend to interrupt the story’s momentum. Splinter in the Blood was written by novelist Margaret Murphy and forensics expert Helen Pepper.