In a dark past lies Alice’s motive to avenge domestic abusers. As Tequila Mockingbird she involves the world of social media with every murder she executes
Tequila Mockingbird #1
The book throws you right in with the first harrowing scenes: he is an abusive husband only too pleased to punish his disobedient wife. His belt is unbuckled and he wants to lash out until he realises something is wrong. Before he knows it, he is brutally slaughtered and somehow, that is a relief because she would have liked his agony to last a bit longer. Back home she updates her social media log with the how and why of her latest killing. Signed: “@Tequila Mockingbird. Kill 17.” Only a hundred followers for her blog, about 300 for her Twitter account. With every message posted and each new abuser slain her online exposure is growing, bringing an explosive increase in her follower numbers.
Each project Alice undertakes results in the freeing of another woman from an abusive situation, empowered to start a new life in the knowledge that her cruel husband can never threaten her (or her children) again. Alice plans everything meticulously, her research, her way of entry and escape, even the clothes she wears and her method of travelling to the house of her next victim. She has gone far in developing her unique murder weapon which will leave no trace at the crime scene. Is Alice a desperate vigilante or avenging angel of death? What is her motive and why does she feel the urge to intervene in the lives of women who are unable to stand up against their spouse? Her actions and her blog journal seem coldblooded but her letters to the battered women tell a different story, there is no admonition, only the kindest words trying to make them understand that they deserve better, a life far away from their abusive partners.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh Detective Inspector Kathy McGuire is confronted with Alice’s latest victim. We have witnessed Kathy rise through the ranks of the Edinburgh CID and her constant awareness of the fact that her career has prevented her from having a private life. In a far past her husband Bobby spat those angry words towards her “operation McGuire comes before everything” and now, years later, nothing has changed. Today, Kathy is about to meet the challenge of a lifetime: (Ice Cold) Alice or perhaps we have to call her Tequila Mockingbird. What follows is a rollercoaster of events both in the past as in the present, a game of cat-and-mouse with a driven serial killer who is out to kill abusive spouses and intent to seek public attention to explain her actions and open up a public discussion on domestic abuse. Like Kathy, Alice also stands before a life-changing decision when she is confronted with the devastating effects of her actions …
I love this thriller! I think the topic of revenge, an eye for an eye, is a secretly harboured longing most people feel but know it is wrong to mention or even talk about. I am no advocate of vigilante justice but cannot help feeling that, sometimes, it is necessary to take measures in order to regain control over your life (not murder of course that cannot be condoned). The fact that the police are dismissive of the alleged violence towards the women involved with Alice’s victims shows how they and society struggle with domestic abuse and fail to protect the innocent. At first, I was not sure how I felt about Police Officer Kathy as she is very ambitious. Gradually, I grew to love Kathy and admired her for her attitude and struggle to give it her all. In her encounters with Alice, she chooses a different approach from that of her boss, which seems a dangerous strategy but Kathy trusts her instincts and is not afraid to speak out.
With every page, Kathy’s character evolved and I loved that. We are witness to her relationship with her husband Bobby and her partner Jack, who again is one of those characters coming to life in this well-written thriller. As for protagonist Alice, I felt her not to be the strong character she is willing to show the world, but someone who was deeply hurt in the past and is extremely vulnerable despite her carefully constructed image. The author has perfectly handled the controversial concept of this psychological crime thriller as it is a thin line on which to balance. The chapters in this book are divided between ‘Then” and “Now” which makes it perfectly clear what happens “when” as we slowly unravel what drives both Alice and Kathy. The chapters about Alice are mostly written in a first-person narrative whereas Kathy’s chapters are from a third-person perspective. Can I just say I love the ending? I highly recommend this book!
About the Author
Author Mark Wilson writes psychological thrillers under the name C.P. Wilson. Ice Cold Alice is currently being adapted into a screenplay. Under his name Mark Wilson he is the author of ten works of fiction into multiple genre and one non-fiction memoir. The author teaches Biology in a Fife secondary school, is one half of a parent-team to two very active children, and mentors independent authors. Wilson’s short story ‘Glass Ceiling’ won first prize in May, 2015 on Spinetingler’s Short story competition. dEaDINBURGH: Vantage reached the quarter finals of the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and was a finalist in the 2015 Wishing Shelf Book Awards.
|Publisher||Bloodhound Books (12 April 2017)|