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Our Lady of Pain by the author Elena Forbes

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Our Lady of Pain
Genre: Mystery , Thriller
Series: Book 2.0 in the Mark Tartaglia series
Ratings: ★★★★☆☆
Publisher: MacAdam/Cage Publishing
Pub Year:
ISBN: 9781596923164
List Price: 0.00
Download: EPUB MOBI


When a young woman's naked body is discovered deep in the snowy undergrowth of Holland Park, ritualistically bound and gagged, the only clue is a verse from a bizarre poem found stuffed in her mouth. The woman is Rachel Tenison, a wealthy West End art dealer, who outwardly seemed to lead a normal, fulfilled life. However, as DI Mark Tartaglia and DS Sam Donovan scratch away at the surface, a darker, secret side begins to emerge. Then a tip-off spins everything in an entirely new direction, suggesting that the case is linked to the murder a year before in North London of Catherine Watson, a university lecturer. Still haunted by the aftermath of 'The Bridegroom' case three months before, which nearly brought about their own deaths, Tartaglia and Donovan are forced to confront their personal demons as they struggle to find what these two very different women had in common before the killer has a chance to strike again.

From Publishers Weekly

When a bound and nude female body turns up in Holland Park in Forbes's solid second police procedural to feature the Barnes Murder Squad of West London (after 2007's Die with Me), Det. Mark Tartaglia rushes to the scene to investigate. In the mouth of art dealer Rachel Tenison is a page of verse, eventually identified as an excerpt from Swinburne. Tartaglia soon finds that the ostensibly respectable and staid victim had a darker side, and that some people close to her, including her step-brother, an MP, have something to hide relevant to the murder. When the squad learns of a similar crime a year earlier that claimed the life of university lecturer Catherine Watson, they wonder if a copycat killer might be at work. While the plot line is formulaic and the final twist one that many readers will anticipate, those who don't demand intricate plotting or in-depth psychological examination should be well satisfied. (Sept.)
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From Booklist

One wintry London morning, angelic-looking art dealer Rachel Tenison went for a jog in Holland Park and never came back. A few days have passed by the time her naked corpse is found there, bound at the wrists, knees, and ankles and angled forward in prayer. It’s not long before Detective Inspector Mark Tartaglia realizes that Rachel is hardly the innocent soul she had appeared to be. (Her insatiable appetite for rough sex led her to frequent acts of betrayal, even among close childhood friends.) Ever-shrewd Tartaglia begins to suspect possible links with the unsolved murder of a mild-mannered professor a few years back. (Poetry mavens will likely recognize the Swinburne verse that clues the cops in.) Possible perpetrators surface, but there’s not enough proof to charge a single one on Tartaglia’s list. Forbes (Die with Me, 2007) delivers crisp prose and steady suspense. But her real gift is in rendering the flawed members of the London police force, more adept at tackling crime than the troubles in their own lives. --Allison Block