A Wash of Black by Chris McDonald


Book blurb

Anna Symons. Famous. Talented. Dead.

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, having only recently returned to work after suffering a near-fatal attack herself, finds she must once again prove her worth as the hunt for the media-dubbed ‘Blood Ice Killer’ intensifies.

But when another body is found and, this time, the killer issues a personal threat, Erika must do more than put aside her demons to crack the case, or suffer the deadly consequences.

My thoughts

I came across Chris McDonald a couple of years ago on Twitter – ‘just’ a fellow book blogger! Even then he must have been working away at his own book. So it was lovely to see the tweet saying he had a contract for A Wash of Black with Red Dog Press. Then when I saw that bloggers were needed to review, how could I not?

I’m thrilled Chris is a local author and has used Manchester, a place he obviously knows well and is not only a great place to set a book but gives that feel of authenticity to the story. Also, it’s kind of fun to recognise places when reading though not necessarily, as in this instance, some of the events that happen in them!

Opening immediately with the death of Anna at an ice rink we meet DI Erika Piper. Erika is tough and a good detective. She has her moments when life feels not so good, she’s been through dark times, but her work means a lot to her. Chris has certainly brought us a sympathetic and likeable lead protagonist.

We are presented with a number of possible options as to who the murderer might be through each twist and turn of the story, all of whom are legitimate and difficult to rule out. The police detective work unfolds as further murders take place all adding to the tension and Erika battles on with a steely determination. She’s a good detective, she’s instinctive, she’s bright, generally has good judgement and is determined to get the killer especially when it becomes personal.

It’s an easy read, well paced and confidently written. A cracking story. This is the first of a series and that feels right. It’ll be good to find out how Erika moves on, deals with her DCI, how things work out with Tom, with family and, especially, with work. So hopefully, or should I say no doubt, we’ll be treated to more dark stories such as this terrific first novel from Chris McDonald.

It’s well worth a read.


By the way – *Giveaway* alert – if you read through to the end of this piece you’ll find a link on how to win a copy of A Wash of Black, good luck!


With thanks to Red Dog Press for an eCopy of A Wash of Black and including me on this amazing BlogTour.


Why not take a look at the rest of the tour? Enjoy!


Publisher: Red Dog Press

Twitter: @RedDogTweets

Instagram: @red_dog_press

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reddogassociates

BuyAmazonUK or RedDogPressShop  – to buy the paperback and hardback editions direct.


Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland he now resides 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.

He’s a fan of 5-a-side football, has an eclectic taste in music ranging from Damien Rice to Slayer and loves dogs.



Rafflecopter Giveaway:

The prize is a signed Hardback edition of A Wash of Black, along with a ‘Go Away I’m Reading’ Tote Bag and a Luxury Bookmark.

The giveaway runs from 28th Jan to 11th Feb, and Red Dog Press will announce the randomly chosen winner on the evening of the 11th Feb (GMT)

Routes to entry are all on the giveaway link, but basically, sign up to Red Dog Press Reader’s Club (which also gets you discounts in the Red Dog Press store, a free eBook, and latest news from Red Dog Press), follow Red Dog Press on twitter. Entrants who tweet the Red Dog Press promo tweet get two bonus entries.

Link: Giveaway


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