A Wash Of Black review.


Written by: Chris McDonald @Cmacwritescrime

Published by: Red Dog Press. @RedDogTweets



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 put aside her demons to crack the case, or suffer the deadly consequences.”


When was the last time you did something for the first time?

When was the last time you had a food you haven’t had before?

Tried a new flavor of soft drink even?

Doing something for the first time is something that should be celebrated.

We should be celebrating Chris McDonald’s first novel, because it’s absolutely fantastic.

I’m not kidding – this is his debut book.

When you’ve read it, you’ll remember I said this.

It reads like a book from an author that is 20 published works deep into his career.

Chris McDonald writes with a confidence and panache that belies his experience.

Pay particular attention to the next line because it is maybe the single most important thing I can say about any book.

I believed every word of it.

That is not something that can easily be said about crime or police procedurals. Nothing throws me out of a book as easily as some convoluted plot mechanics that are just nonsense. Not so with McDonald’s “A Wash Of Black” The reason Erika Piper has been off for a year? – Believed it.  Gruesome death on a Manchester Ice rink? Believed it. Every single red herring thrown our way as to ‘who dunnit’? Believed them all mate.

Relationships both working and personal feel real. There’s no clunky, forced dialogue. Characters talk and converse like real life, breathing flesh and blood people; which to me by the end of this book they almost were. That takes real talent as a writer and McDonald has it in spades.

At no point in this book was I bored. Chris McDonald kept me guessing all the way which is exactly what I want from a crime novel. The twist at the end is great. Honestly I didn’t see it coming. All the clues were right there for me but I still didn’t guess it ,which again takes clever writing to achieve.

Book two is being written as we speak. I for one can’t wait to see what McDonald’s second book brings us. I have a sneaking suspicion that this was not a fluke and D.I. Erika Piper is going to be with us for quite some time.

Buy the Kindle edition HERE

Buy the Hardback HERE

Buy the Paperback HERE

A Wash Of Black review.
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