Killing Time - Richard Holland

In a quiet road outside Leicester city centre pensioner, William Reynolds, is found murdered. At first, it baffles everyone as to how someone could be so brutal, but soon, the crack team of detectives realise this man had a past and someone was willing to kill him over it. Some secrets never stay buried.

Big thank you to Richard and Troubadour Publishing for sending me this review copy! Being a Leicestershire local I was so excited to see local spots referenced in this novel - especially the Syston pet store where our hamster came from!

Straight away I was intrigued by the outright creepy tone of our first-person narrator. Their opinion on whether the method and execution of a murder should be appreciated for its intricacies seems outlandish, but, Holland uses convincing writing to get us on board with his views! Throughout the novel the focus of the writing tends to steer toward the characterisation and setting more than anything, whilst telling the story at the same time. The use of block character description when they're introduced to the reader quickly establishes that baseline connection which enables the novel to flow easily without diverging from the plot, and with a fast-paced novel such as this, that's key.

The plot itself became a world of twists and turns leading the reader down a rabbit-hole of secrets the key characters (spoiler; victims) kept. Following the detectives through their method of crime-solving was insightful and felt realistic enough to the captivate me, not just the specifics of police procedure but the characters made natural next steps that sometimes get lost in crime procedural novels. Progressively as the hints were dropped, along with the penny, I was enthralled with the way Holland hid the obvious in plain sight. It was incredibly clever and made me enjoy the story that much more given that the secret was right under my nose!

Whilst I loved this plot I struggled to 100% connect to the writing style. Holland does a great job of describing each scene and each character, he creates a very real atmosphere, but, for me it became overly descriptive. I wanted to get to the action of the story, finding more about the characters, the plot, and the psyche of the killer but often felt dragged into the description of menial aspects.

This became an odd alternate reality of my local area and that fascinated me, along with the well-rounded characters and intense plot it was a thoroughly enjoyable read.

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