Book Review: Mark Capell’s Vows to Kill

January 18, 2013 4 out of 5, review 0 ★★★★

Book Review: Mark Capell’s Vows to KillTitle: Vows to Kill
Author: Mark Capell
Genre: Mystery
My Rating: four-stars
My Copy: Complimentary Copy won via LibraryThing
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Detective Inspector Lee Eyre receives an email: 'I WILL KILL YOU ON YOUR WEDDING DAY.'

Is it a sick practical joke? Or an earnest threat? Who sent him the anonymous e-mail?

Lee is about to marry Lucy. They only met six months ago. But in the gusts of this whirlwind romance, Lee has avoided telling Lucy about his past. That past is the stuff of nightmares - gangsters with grudges, an obsessive ex-wife, and a mysterious stranger who can provide the link to a murder investigation that went tragically wrong.

Despite strange recurring dreams, Lee's approach has been to bury his head in the sand, pretending the past didn't happen. But that's not an option now.

Lee must investigate a crime that hasn't yet happened - his own murder - to prevent it from happening. But that investigation is complicated by twists and turns. It will cause Lee to question why he's a police officer and whether he can marry his perfect woman.

Will Lee and Lucy have a future? Or will it be obliterated by Lee's past?

When Detective Inspector Lee Eyre receives an email threatening to kill him on his wedding day, he is on the hunt to find the culprit. At first he believes it might an interoffice joke, but then he quickly realizes if it’s not a joke, who sent it? Should he tell his wife-to-be, Lucy, or keep quiet as he investigates?

There’s one question we, as readers, will find ourselves asking: Is Lee Eyre guilty? There’s mention of an incident gone wrong and Eyre’s inability to move on from it. Mark Capell does an excellent job going over the details of “Southampton” (the place where the incident occurs). If Eyre is guilty, what is he guilty of? What I really enjoyed is how Capell reveals bits of information and it’s up to the readers to try to decipher and put all the pieces together. Some incidents may make no sense as well as the actions by some individuals; nevertheless, these are clues regarding Eyre’s past. There were a few moments I wanted to knock some sense into him and ask him to look at the big picture. Eyre was a bit too trusting in some aspects, especially with regards to Tim Bullard, the Chief Inspector, and Ozzy Welford, a hardened gangster.

Characters are fully developed and you’ll find yourself wanting to shake some sense into a few of them, particularly Lucy. I can forgive Lucy in her attempt to befriend Eyre’s ex-wife. In one key scene, Lucy’s sister, Vicky, talks to her regarding her actions and a little light is shed on Lucy’s past and you can’t help but feel sorry for her. You’re left heartbroken for Molly and wanting to know more about her role regarding Eyre’s life. What would drive Molly to the extreme and how does Ozzy fit into the picture? Then of course you have Eyre’s ex-wife, Kat, who is described as crazy and a bit obsessive with Eyre. Why did their marriage end and why is Eyre so intent on keeping his past a secret? If you’re the type who is bothered by more than one narrative, the chapter divisions may annoy you. However; all narratives in Vows are intertwined and serve a purpose. At no point did I find myself pulled away from a particular point of view even as it switched.

Capell has a done a brilliant job laying the foundation of this intricate story. By the time I reached the final chapters of Vows, I thought I had everything figured out, however; I was wrong! Mark Capell delivers a solid satisfying conclusion that I wasn’t expecting and I, for one, can’t wait to go through his backlist and look forward to reading more of his work.

Vows to Kill will have you asking, what would you do for love?

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