Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Devil’s Mark by WD Jackson-Smart, and I am excited to be sharing my review with you all.
Bloody remains. Multiple victims. Ritual sacrifice?
When a blood-stained effigy of body parts is found in a central London park, D.I Daniel Graves must set about trying to discover what it could mean and find the person responsible. Symbols at the crime scene suggest the occult. Who would leave a murder victim in such a way, and why?
As Graves and partner DI Charlie Palmer begin to investigate the ritual and the act of human sacrifice, they enlist the help of Charlotte Gooding, a talented professor specialising in the subject. They hope to narrow down on a motive. Could the killer believe in the supernatural? Witchcraft even?
Then the next crime scene is found. More blood, more symbols, and out in the open. It seems the killer wants the world to pay attention, but why? How are they choosing their victims?
The pressure is on for Graves to put an end to the murders before more remains show up in brutal tableaus. One thing is for sure, this killer is out for blood and is not afraid to make it a very public display.
There’s just one problem. Grave’s past is still not behind him. Someone is eager to make sure he doesn’t forget, cannot move on. And they’re not playing games anymore. There may be an occult killer out there, but now there’s another out for blood, Daniel Grave’s blood.
The Devil’s Mark was my most anticipated release of 2021, and WD Jackson-Smart is one of my favourite athors, so I am extremely lucky to get to be part of this blog tour. I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for D.I. Graves, and to see how his story continues. I have been so excited about this book, so as soon as my physical copy arrived (which I bought for myself, despite being sent a digital copy for the tour, because I just HAD to add it to my collection), I dived straight in, despite having 2 other books on the go already.
As usual, WD Jackson-Smart sets an atmosphere, and intensity that hooks you from the very beginning, with an exciting and gory opening chapter. From there, the story continues in much the same way as it starts. The murders are very brutal, so if you’re a little squeamish, this might not be the best book for you. Personally, these are my favourite books to read, and the bloodier the better! The method of how the bodies were left made the story so much more interesting, and I really enjoyed the spiritualistic aspect of it.
Alongside these murders, we get the problems following Graves from a previous case. Although this is a continuation from the previous 2 books of the series, The Devil’s Mark can still work as a standalone, mainly because we are given brief reminders of what happened along the way, so that new readers aren’t too confused about what/why these things are happening.
D.I. Graves and his team are such great characters. We get in depth background stories on some, and not so much on others, but they are all enjoyable to read about. I particularly like that sometimes the team do make mistakes, it makes the story so much more realistic, and it also makes the team seem more believable. Nobody is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes sometimes.
This book certainly lived up to all of my expectations. It was everything I could have asked for! Two thrilling stories, coming in to one, with an explosive, exciting, and extremely satisfying ending. It has you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. I can’t wait for more from D.I. Graves and his team, and I am so ready for book 4 in the series!
I give The Devil’s Mark a 5 star rating!
A huge thank you to Emma at Damppebbles, WD Jackson-Smart, and Panther Publishing, for allowing me to be a part of this tour, for sending me a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review, and for providing me with the content and materials for this post.
About The Author:
WD Jackson-Smart, 35, is a London-based horror and crime fiction author who has been writing crime and horror fiction since 2011. His novel Red Light was self published on Amazon and charted in the top twenty best selling Suspense / Thriller Kindle books on release.
His horror short story, What’s Yours Is Mine, was shortlisted for the Horror For Good anthology.
His first crime thriller Slasher, about a serial killer targeting slasher movie actresses in Hollywood, is out now, and he has launched a brand new crime series set in London and starring D.I. Graves. The Demons Beneath is the first in the series, and the sequel From Inside The House was published on July 1st 2019.
As well as his passion for horror and crime thrillers in all forms, WD Jackson-Smart also loves art and design, having studied Fine Art and Art History in Leeds and Toronto and working as a graphic designer for the majority of his career.
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