Hot Best Seller

Her Last Breath

Availability: Ready to download

He leaves his victims fighting for life, And with the mark of death... After old remains resurface in a heatwave, a young woman is attacked and left fighting for her life in hospital. 24 hours later she dies and a deadly tattoo is discovered on her body. When another young woman disappears, Detective Francis Sullivan and his team fear a serial killer walks the streets of Bri He leaves his victims fighting for life, And with the mark of death... After old remains resurface in a heatwave, a young woman is attacked and left fighting for her life in hospital. 24 hours later she dies and a deadly tattoo is discovered on her body. When another young woman disappears, Detective Francis Sullivan and his team fear a serial killer walks the streets of Brighton. His team identify a suspect, Alex Mullins, son of his lover, Marni. Can Francis forget their shared past and save the next victim before it is too late?


Compare

He leaves his victims fighting for life, And with the mark of death... After old remains resurface in a heatwave, a young woman is attacked and left fighting for her life in hospital. 24 hours later she dies and a deadly tattoo is discovered on her body. When another young woman disappears, Detective Francis Sullivan and his team fear a serial killer walks the streets of Bri He leaves his victims fighting for life, And with the mark of death... After old remains resurface in a heatwave, a young woman is attacked and left fighting for her life in hospital. 24 hours later she dies and a deadly tattoo is discovered on her body. When another young woman disappears, Detective Francis Sullivan and his team fear a serial killer walks the streets of Brighton. His team identify a suspect, Alex Mullins, son of his lover, Marni. Can Francis forget their shared past and save the next victim before it is too late?

30 review for Her Last Breath

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    This is the second in Alison Belsham's Brighton based Tattoo Thief series, featuring the youngest and troubled DI Francis Sullivan. This is a dark and fraught addition with the return of Marni Mullins, who runs a tattoo parlour, with her shaky marriage to Thierry, and her absolute love for Alex, her son. Despite the feelings between Marni and Francis, nothing happened, but the two are tied together, appearing in the trial for the killer from previous harrowing events. Alex and his girlfriend, Na This is the second in Alison Belsham's Brighton based Tattoo Thief series, featuring the youngest and troubled DI Francis Sullivan. This is a dark and fraught addition with the return of Marni Mullins, who runs a tattoo parlour, with her shaky marriage to Thierry, and her absolute love for Alex, her son. Despite the feelings between Marni and Francis, nothing happened, but the two are tied together, appearing in the trial for the killer from previous harrowing events. Alex and his girlfriend, Natasha 'Tash' Brady are at a club when the two have a fight, with Tash leaving after slapping him. She sets off home alone, with Alex being unable to find her. She rings him at his mother's home, distraught after being seriously assaulted. Marni and Alex make their way to her, horrorstruck at the blood soaked nightmare scene they see, Marni calls the police. Tash is taken to hospital, but it seems that she will recover, but the medical staff are shocked when her condition deteriorates, culminating in her having a massive heart attack and dying. The killer had caused stigmata injuries on her hands and feet, and tattooed a religious latin phrase on her back, a tattoo created from poison ink, adulterated with taxin from the Yew tree. Tash had never stood a chance, there was nothing the medical profession could have done after she had been tattooed. Alex becomes the prime suspect, but Francis is in a quandry, he has some doubts about Alex being their killer, but he needs Marni to testify in court, which she is unlikely to do if Alex is arrested. In the meantime, Francis finds himself facing family issues, suffering loss and grief, and a difficult relationship with his sister, Robin, who he never sees because of his job, but who is suffering from MS. The media turn their intense scrutiny on Francis and the trial, putting at risk the justice Francis is seeking. Other young women with connections to Alex begin turning up, with the same MO as Tash, their death is inevitable. Will Francis be able to find the serial killer before even more young women die? Belsham spins a dark and disturbing crime story that goes back and forth in time with its focus on a young girl, Aimee, and the horrors the little girl grows up with in her family. It is only at the end that the connection with that thread is made with Francis's case. Poor Francis faces pain, suffering and threats from every direction, his work place is difficult with someone leaking against him to the press, it's a shock that he manages to hold it all together to get to the truth of this terrifying and harrowing case. This is a tense and suspenseful read that I found myself being drawn inexorably into, definitely compelling crime fiction. Many thanks to Orion for an ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    The Tattoo Thief #2 Tasha Bradley had been brutally attacked and dies. A strange tattoo was found on her body. Her boyfriend, Alex becomes the prime suspect. Soon the death toll rises. Detective Francis Sullivan has been tasked with the job to investigate the mutilated murder of Tash Bradley. The murders share a link to tattooists. The story is told from multiple points of view. The pace is fast with a gripping storyline. There is references to the events that happened in the first book in this se The Tattoo Thief #2 Tasha Bradley had been brutally attacked and dies. A strange tattoo was found on her body. Her boyfriend, Alex becomes the prime suspect. Soon the death toll rises. Detective Francis Sullivan has been tasked with the job to investigate the mutilated murder of Tash Bradley. The murders share a link to tattooists. The story is told from multiple points of view. The pace is fast with a gripping storyline. There is references to the events that happened in the first book in this series. Marni Mullens and her son, Alex are tattooists. Marni is already a witness in a current court case. Marni will do anything she can to prove her son's innocence. I have not read the first book in this series but it did read well as a standalone. I would like to thank NetGalley, Orion Publishing Group and the author Alison Belsham for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    The Tattoo Thief #2 Tash Bradley had been brutally attacked and dies. A strange tattoo was found on her body. Her boyfriend, Alex becomes the prime suspect. Soon the death toll rises. Detective Francis Sullivan has been tasked with the job to investigate the mutilated murder of Tash Bradley. The murders share a link to tattooists. The story is told from multiple points of view. The pace is fast with a gripping storyline. There is references to events that happens in the first book in this series. The Tattoo Thief #2 Tash Bradley had been brutally attacked and dies. A strange tattoo was found on her body. Her boyfriend, Alex becomes the prime suspect. Soon the death toll rises. Detective Francis Sullivan has been tasked with the job to investigate the mutilated murder of Tash Bradley. The murders share a link to tattooists. The story is told from multiple points of view. The pace is fast with a gripping storyline. There is references to events that happens in the first book in this series. Marni Mullins and her son, Alex are tattooists. Mari is already a witness in a current court case. Marnie will do anything she can to prove her son innocence. I have ot read the first ook in this series but it did read well as a standalone. I would like to thank NetGalley, Orion Publishing Group and the author Alison Belsham for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shalini

    This was quite a breath stealing ride with connections so deep amongst the characters that it took me time to get to know them. A different concept, death due to poison in the tattoos. A new murderer in town who abducted women, drilled their hands and feet and tattooed their backs, which caused their deaths within 24 hours. It was upto DI Francis and tattoo artist Marni to get to the truth. My first book by author Alison Belsham, though second in the series, there were shadows of the first book in This was quite a breath stealing ride with connections so deep amongst the characters that it took me time to get to know them. A different concept, death due to poison in the tattoos. A new murderer in town who abducted women, drilled their hands and feet and tattooed their backs, which caused their deaths within 24 hours. It was upto DI Francis and tattoo artist Marni to get to the truth. My first book by author Alison Belsham, though second in the series, there were shadows of the first book in this which took me time to understand. The investigation section was written in a suspenseful manner. I could feel the frustration and determination of the team as more girls got taken. Francis was great as the protagonist, the emotions he showed were endearing. It was his intelligence which solved the case in a rocking finale. Though the cops were a bit rigid in their outlook, I realized that the author had portrayed this part realistically as most do take easy way in real life. The writing was complexed yet easy to understand. In spite if not knowing the characters, it was easy to get to know them. A lot of personal information was written in which gave me the feeling of a thriller more than police procedural. Overall, a fun read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Her Last Breath is the second book in the DI Sullivan series and an absolute belter of a read. There is enough background in my personal opinion for this one to work as a stand alone if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading The Tattoo Thief. The murders are quite horrific in the story but boy does it make for some compulsive reading. I wanted to turn my head away from the horrors unfolding in front of me, yet the authors writing had me hooked and unable to tear my eyes away from the pages. C Her Last Breath is the second book in the DI Sullivan series and an absolute belter of a read. There is enough background in my personal opinion for this one to work as a stand alone if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading The Tattoo Thief. The murders are quite horrific in the story but boy does it make for some compulsive reading. I wanted to turn my head away from the horrors unfolding in front of me, yet the authors writing had me hooked and unable to tear my eyes away from the pages. Crime stories really don’t come anymore complex than this. Nothing is straight forward. Poor Alex is being torn in many directions in his personal life as well as being a suspect in a murder case. I really felt sorry for this young man who seems to be misunderstood by everyone. You can feel the urgency throughout, with the pace and tension getting turned up a notch the further into the story we go. The climax was pretty much breath taking as I didn’t dare breath as more peoples lives come under threat. Her Last Breath is an adrenaline fuelled read that had me clinging on for dear life. I couldn’t devour this book quickly enough as I was desperate to know who the killer was. I really enjoyed the first book in the series but by heck, with this one, the author has knocked it out of the park. Absolutely loved it. My thanks to NetGalley and Trapeze Books for a readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Her last breath by Alison Belsham is the 2nd book in the Tattoo thief series but, you can read it as a standalone as I have not read the first one. A young woman is attacked and left for dead with a Tattoo on her back. She is found but dies 24 hours later in hospital. At first, they don’t know what caused her to die. When another body of a woman is found they discover that the ink is poisoned. But who is killing these women and what links them together? They first suspect Alex Mullins as he was l Her last breath by Alison Belsham is the 2nd book in the Tattoo thief series but, you can read it as a standalone as I have not read the first one. A young woman is attacked and left for dead with a Tattoo on her back. She is found but dies 24 hours later in hospital. At first, they don’t know what caused her to die. When another body of a woman is found they discover that the ink is poisoned. But who is killing these women and what links them together? They first suspect Alex Mullins as he was linked both to the women, but he denies everything and they don’t have substantial evidence to link him to the murders so, they must let him go. But what the police do know that they have a serial killer on the loose. I really enjoyed this book. It had a great original storyline and characters. This was a fast-paced thriller that gripped you from the start. Shame I didn’t read the first in the series, but I didn’t have to worry as this is an excellent read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    A brilliant follow up book which I although it's hard to believe it was even better than the first. It's a bit gruesome in places but not over the top. I love the leading character Detective Francis Sullivan, he has his faults but the job always comes first. and when finds himself faced with two murders in quick succession he realises that they have a serial killer to catch. I love the author's style of writing it sucks you in and doesn't let you go while the very last page.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stina

    Firstly I must say, disregard the premise. It is incorrect with it's opening line "After old remains resurface in a heatwave, a young woman is attacked..." This is so misleading is annoys me! I have to wonder if those who write these premises have actually read the book?? It also gives away something of a spoiler which is key to the mystery...even more irritating. The second in the Tattoo Thief series based in Brighton, HER LAST BREATH is a dark tale that is, in parts, gruesome (though not graphi Firstly I must say, disregard the premise. It is incorrect with it's opening line "After old remains resurface in a heatwave, a young woman is attacked..." This is so misleading is annoys me! I have to wonder if those who write these premises have actually read the book?? It also gives away something of a spoiler which is key to the mystery...even more irritating. The second in the Tattoo Thief series based in Brighton, HER LAST BREATH is a dark tale that is, in parts, gruesome (though not graphic) and is an addictive page turner. Featuring the young DI Francis Sullivan who, along with his own troubles, heads up a team of detectives hot on the trail of a sadistic serial killer. Tash Brady is attacked on her way home from a nightclub after a tiff with her boyfriend Alex Mullins when she is attacked and left for dead. Found in the bandstand along Brighton beach the following morning after calling Alex for help, she is rushed to hospital where she dies just 24 hours later. The medical staff is at a loss as to what killed her as none of her wounds were life threatening and had been treated, yet she continued to get worse until she went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead shortly after. Tash's mother, who wasn't aware of her daughter's relationship with Alex, promptly points the finger at him claiming he killed her daughter and demanded he be arrested immediately. With wounds of the stigmata on her hands and feet, a stab wound to her side, Tash had also been tattooed in Latin on her back. DI Sullivan recognised the words as being from a choral piece he'd sung in a choir as a boy. But what reference did it have to the case? And why was she given the stigmata and tattooed? DI Sullivan and his team have no choice but to bring in Alex Mullins for questioning. He was closest to their victim and he had access to tattooing equipment with both his parents being tattooists. However, Sullivan has something of a personal stake in this suspect, for he knows the boy's mother Marni Mullins from the previous case involving the tattoo thief. The two had become close over the course of that investigation which came close to an affair, though nothing ever happened. Still, he didn't relish telling Marni that Alex had been brought in for questioning. Then a witness comes forth stating that Tash had confided in her that Alex once hit her...and with his other ties to the victim, he becomes prime suspect. When the post mortem reveals that Tash died from poisoning in the tattoo ink inscribed on her back, Sullivan and his team are now looking for a murderer. And his DS is certain that Alex is their man. But despite the circumstantial evidence against Alex, Sullivan feels sure that he is not their killer. Then another girl is found with identical wounds and another Latin tattooed inscribed on her back. This time in the aquarium where she was employed as a cleaner. Within hours, she dies. And her last text was sent to Alex Mullins. Two victims both known to their suspect. But this time, it is discovered that the second victim was having a relationship with her art tutor. And both women had at one time or another attended the Brighton Art College. Now they have two suspects. When a third woman turns up and dies shortly after, investigations are ramped up to discover a link between her and Alex. He says he doesn't know her but DS Rory Mackay, intent on proving that he is their killer, doesn't believe him. And Sullivan still has difficulty believing that he is. With another woman gone missing, his team seemingly out of control and a DCI out to prove him incompetent, Sullivan finds himself face to face with the killer a too little close to home. Can he save this young woman's life before it's too late? A cat and mouse tale that really doesn't get any more complex than this, HER LAST BREATH is a fast paced thriller with tension building throughout. It is certainly and adrenaline fuelled read that is so addictive you won't want to put it down until the very end. The narrative flips between various characters - Sullivan, Rory, Marni, Alex, Angie (a DC), the various victims and a girl called Aimee whose story unfolds in the past, revealing a disturbing and horrific childhood. It all very cleverly tied together that comes together at the end. Despite his troubled demeanour, I actually liked Francis Sullivan. And I don't usually like such flawed characters. I think maybe because he didn't seek his answers in a bottle, whereas most troubled police detectives do. He is trying to juggle his career with his personal life and do the right thing by everyone. I don't understand his interest in Marni, but then I haven't read the first book either. While this is the second in the series and there are elements in this book that relate back to the first one, HER LAST BREATH can be read as a standalone, just as I have. And despite not having read "The Tattoo Thief" , I am interested to see where the author will take us next. I would like to thank #AlisonBelsham, #NetGalley and #OrionPublishingGroup and #Trapeze for an ARC of #HerLastBreath in exchange for an honest review. This review appears on my blog at https://stinathebookaholic.blogspot.com/.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Bridgeman

    It's not necessary to have read 'The Tattoo Thief' prior to reading 'Her Last Breath', but I would recommend doing so as it is such a great book! Having introduced her team of characters-Marni Mullins, Francis Sullivan and associated family-Alison lets Marni's son,Alex, take center stage in this investigation. He gets into a situation that is partly of his making, and his guilt at the situation has everyone around him thinking that his is somehow responsible for the death of his girlfriend. When t It's not necessary to have read 'The Tattoo Thief' prior to reading 'Her Last Breath', but I would recommend doing so as it is such a great book! Having introduced her team of characters-Marni Mullins, Francis Sullivan and associated family-Alison lets Marni's son,Alex, take center stage in this investigation. He gets into a situation that is partly of his making, and his guilt at the situation has everyone around him thinking that his is somehow responsible for the death of his girlfriend. When they become seperated after an argument at a party, something which happens easily enough in everyday life, the consequences are deadly. Tattoos once again feature as a USP of the novel, not only because of Marni's profession, but another link with the crimes being comitted in Brighton at the height of summer. The narrative flips between Francis, Marni, Alex and a girl named Aimee, who is in the summer of 1982 onwards, experiencing an increasingly horrific childhood. Having become familiar with these people, you are wrong footed by the sudden suspicions thrown towards Alex as a murderer-after all, do we really know him? Are we so willing to believe he is innocent because of Marni's involvement in the Tattoo Thief case? There is an excellent sleight of hand at play as all the characters you are emotionally attached to become uprooted through loss, grief and guilt. We reassess our relationship with them, and the truth, the same as Francis does with Marni-their relationship seemed to be going somewhere, but stalled as they simultaneously realise that they do not know each other. Being thrown together by circumstance is not a solid foundation for a relationship, however that doesn't stop the reader -me!- screaming at the page for them to realise they really, really need each other. Being pulled in so many different directions, but ultimately trying to tackle another serial killer who is stalking the streets of Brighton, these guys are finding information drops at the same time as we are-be warned though, this is not for the faint of heart. The level of anatomical detail included in the murders/autopsies are brilliantly realised but gory-this is an unflinching display of violence, and as such, we readers have a front row seat to the savagery. After all, real life is nasty, mean and brutish, so why flinch on the details? It brings a sense of intimacy and urgency which is in no way gratuitous, but brings home just what the violence suffered by women looks like. It's a gripping cat and mouse tale by an author who teases out all your emotions, this is a series which can only grow more compelling with each instalment-brava!!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    peggy

    After reading her first book The Tattoo Thief which blew me away and a real page turner, I was hoping for more of the same. I am glad to say that I definitely got plenty more. This read ticked all my boxes. Read it in one sitting only putting it down when needs must. So much tension and suspense had me sat on the edge of my seat. Chilling and atmospheric which gave me goosebumps. Graphic with plenty of heart in your mouth moments and got my heart racing and tapping my kindle faster and faster. H After reading her first book The Tattoo Thief which blew me away and a real page turner, I was hoping for more of the same. I am glad to say that I definitely got plenty more. This read ticked all my boxes. Read it in one sitting only putting it down when needs must. So much tension and suspense had me sat on the edge of my seat. Chilling and atmospheric which gave me goosebumps. Graphic with plenty of heart in your mouth moments and got my heart racing and tapping my kindle faster and faster. Her first book put off tattoos and this one has put me off tattoos for life!!!! A MUST READ and so highly recommended. Thanks to Orion Publishing Group and Netgalley for the ARC.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Orion Publishing Group for an advance copy of Her Last Breath, the second novel set in Brighton to feature DI Francis Sullivan and tattoo artist Marni Mullins. Tash Bradley phones her boyfriend, Alex Mullins, for help after being attacked. She is rushed to hospital but sadly dies the next day. After her death a strange tattoo is found on her back and this makes Alex the prime suspect. When another girl with links to Alex disappears he becomes the only suspect. I would like to thank Netgalley and Orion Publishing Group for an advance copy of Her Last Breath, the second novel set in Brighton to feature DI Francis Sullivan and tattoo artist Marni Mullins. Tash Bradley phones her boyfriend, Alex Mullins, for help after being attacked. She is rushed to hospital but sadly dies the next day. After her death a strange tattoo is found on her back and this makes Alex the prime suspect. When another girl with links to Alex disappears he becomes the only suspect. Francis isn’t as convinced as the rest of the team of his guilt and Marni will do anything to clear her son’s name. Her Last Breath is a roller coaster of a read with incident upon incident and a well concealed perpetrator which will appeal to many readers. I found it compulsive in parts but not enough to say I loved it. I found it a very choppy read with its constant switches between characters and the insertion of chapters about a young girl called Aimée which have no relevance until the denouement just seemed like a distraction. Having read the whole novel they are given much more prominence than they deserve. The murder plot is well conceived and executed but it gets bogged down in extraneities, mainly interpersonal relationships and the court case from the previous novel. This latter means that there is no going back to The Tattoo Thief after reading this one. The balance is not right for my tastes. The characters are very well developed so the reader gets to experience their highs and lows along with them. This is fine if you like them but try as I might I really don’t like Marni, finding her impulsive and too quick to jump to conclusions. It’s harder to get a handle on Francis as his life seems to be one long confrontation with his workmates, his sister and Marni.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Robertson

    I absolutely loved The Tattoo Thief so was thrilled to pick up a copy of Her Last Breath when I was attending Morecambe and Vice last year. I think it can be read as a stand-alone but you definitely could do with reading The Tattoo Thief first if you fancy more of an insight into Francis and his relationship with Marnie Mullins and their backgrounds.
Her Last Breath was just as good as The Tattoo Thief, if not better!! It was gripping, gory and gruesome with a fantastically dark and intriguing s I absolutely loved The Tattoo Thief so was thrilled to pick up a copy of Her Last Breath when I was attending Morecambe and Vice last year. I think it can be read as a stand-alone but you definitely could do with reading The Tattoo Thief first if you fancy more of an insight into Francis and his relationship with Marnie Mullins and their backgrounds.
Her Last Breath was just as good as The Tattoo Thief, if not better!! It was gripping, gory and gruesome with a fantastically dark and intriguing storyline. Detective Francis Sullivan is called in when a girl is found injured after an attack. When she later dies and another woman is snatched off the streets, Francis realises a serial killer is once again stalking the streets of Brighton. And if that's not enough, he also has to face the "Tattoo Thief" trial plus the son of his ex lover is now a prime suspect in the murder of his girlfriend. I'm not even going to mention the other problems he is facing but it's safe to say that nothing is going well for DI Sullivan...
I was blown away once again by how involved I became in this case. Alison Belsham writes a disturbing yet fascinating narrative that winds its twisty way down the path of suspense until that shocking conclusion. Yes, the clues may have been there but I didn't see them coming and was totally in awe of the plot development that crept up on me, hidden by some great camouflage! I think I suspected everyone whilst still suspecting no one!
Alison Belsham got this second book just right. It can be hard to follow up on a debut crime novel that has been so well received but Her Last Breath worked perfectly for me. It's a stylish thriller with a likeable "closed book" main character who always leaves me wanting to know more.
Highly recommended by me!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kestrel Carroll

    Just brilliant! Really enjoyed Her Last Breath. Can’t wait for the next book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Suze Bickerton

    It's great to see Marni Mullins again! I know Francis Sullivan is the main man, but I'm delighted that Marni is back too. This is the follow up to The Tattoo Thief but can easily be read as a standalone. It's set in one of my favourite places, Brighton, and has a character called Suze (great name) in it - what's not to like! Seventeen year old Tash Brady storms out of a nightclub following an argument with her boyfriend and heads towards home. Hours later he finds her with horrific injuries and a It's great to see Marni Mullins again! I know Francis Sullivan is the main man, but I'm delighted that Marni is back too. This is the follow up to The Tattoo Thief but can easily be read as a standalone. It's set in one of my favourite places, Brighton, and has a character called Suze (great name) in it - what's not to like! Seventeen year old Tash Brady storms out of a nightclub following an argument with her boyfriend and heads towards home. Hours later he finds her with horrific injuries and a tattoo on her back. Her death sparks a murder investigation headed up by DI Francis Sullivan. And the chief suspect is Tash's boyfriend, Alex Mullins, who just happens to be Marni's son. And Marni and the DI have history. Sullivan is a really interesting character. Promoted young, he's not always popular with his subordinates, particularly Rory. He has a solid Catholic faith and a strong moral compass. But tattoo artist Marni gets him hot under the collar. I love Marni. She's feisty, fierce and full of attitude. She has a fair amount of baggage, some of which is teased out here in a charged sub plot. She has a pretty low opinion of the police and her feelings about Sullivan are...complicated. But it's fair to say she's far from impressed when the team get her son in their sights. Is it wrong that I have a thing for Thierry? I've had it since the first book - I think it's the bad boy/French accent combo that does it! As well as the current action, we see a few snapshots of a young girl of a young girl growing up in the 80s and 90s, which I found really intriguing. Sad too. Back in the present, the team struggle to get ahead, not helped by a bit of in fighting. And Francis is distracted by things happening away from work. Tension builds as they start to put clues together. I was rooting for the team, although at times I wanted to give Rory a good shake! Her Last Breath is nerve-racking throughout. Quite gruesome in places - Belsham doesn't shy away from the bloody details - and a bit icky in others. The denouement had me holding my breath, I just couldn't read fast enough, and whilst I was thinking along the right lines, the reveal was a shock for me. This story is chocked full of action, with added spadefuls of jeopardy. And it's all done with brilliantly drawn characters who have real emotional depth. Characters that I'd like to have a drink and chat with. That's skilful writing. I devoured this book and just can't wait for the final part of the trilogy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I absolutely love discovering new authors and Alison Belsham is sort of a new author for me. I say 'sort of' because although I already have a copy of the first book in the DI Sullivan series (called 'The Tattoo Thief') on my ever increasing 'to be read' mountain, I haven't actually read it yet. When I was offered the chance to take part in the blog tour for the second book in the series, called 'Her Last Breath', I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to acquaint myself with Alison's work. I absolutely love discovering new authors and Alison Belsham is sort of a new author for me. I say 'sort of' because although I already have a copy of the first book in the DI Sullivan series (called 'The Tattoo Thief') on my ever increasing 'to be read' mountain, I haven't actually read it yet. When I was offered the chance to take part in the blog tour for the second book in the series, called 'Her Last Breath', I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to acquaint myself with Alison's work. Having enjoyed reading 'Her Last Breath' as much as I did, I am rather annoyed at myself for leaving it this long to discover just how flipping fantastic an author Alison is. I absolutely loved reading 'Her Last Breath' but more about that in a bit. It took me next to no time to get into this book. As soon as I read the first couple of sentences, I knew that this was going to be one of those rare books that would not leave my hands until the moment I read the last word on the last page. The book wasn't exactly glued to my hand but it might as well have been because it travelled everywhere with me. I couldn't bear to be parted from the book as I feared missing out on some vital part of the story. I was gripped by the story and on the edge of my seat throughout. I tried to pace myself so that I could prolong the enjoyment of the story but that idea was soon thrown out of the window because I was enjoying the book too much to stop reading. I seemed to motor through the book but because I was so immersed in the story, I lost all track of time and I didn't realise how long I had been reading until I happened to glance at the clock. I had been reading for a couple of hours! I raced to the finish. 'Her Last Breath' was gripping stuff and also rather gruesome on occasion and I loved every single second of it! 'Her Last Breath' is superbly written. Alison certainly grabbed my attention from the start with a crime that is horrific in nature and it will stay in my mind for a long time to come. Alison certainly starts the story with a bang. The story hits the ground running and maintains a fast pace throughout. The chapters are written from the points of view of the different characters. I did wonder if that might lead to a bit of a disjointed story but I needn't have worried because the chapters interlink well and the story flows seamlessly as a result. I love the characters that Alison has created and I loved the interaction between Marni and Francis. Alison uses such vivid and powerful descriptions that I did feel as though I was part of the story myself. Reading 'Her Last Breath' was much like being on a seriously scary and very unpredictable rollercoaster ride with more twists and turns than you would find on a 'Snakes & Ladders' board. Just when you thought that you could reclaim your stomach contents, take a breath and allow your heart rate to settle then off the action would go again. There were times when I almost had to read through my fingers as I feared what was going to happen next. In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'Her Last Breath' and I would definitely recommend this book to other readers. I will definitely be reading more of Alison's work in the future- starting with 'The Tattoo Thief' just as soon as I have a minute. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Kerdouci

    I was interested to read Her Last Breath since this well paced thriller is set in my hometown of Brighton. I find it an extra bonus when the action takes place in streets that are familiar to me, although a little eerie!! It adds to my overall enjoyment and this thriller was no exception. This is the second book in a series featuring detective Francis Sullivan and local tattooist Marni Mullins. Like other reviewers I do think it probably helps you to appreciate both characters more if you have re I was interested to read Her Last Breath since this well paced thriller is set in my hometown of Brighton. I find it an extra bonus when the action takes place in streets that are familiar to me, although a little eerie!! It adds to my overall enjoyment and this thriller was no exception. This is the second book in a series featuring detective Francis Sullivan and local tattooist Marni Mullins. Like other reviewers I do think it probably helps you to appreciate both characters more if you have read the first book(which I hadn’t!) though by no means essential. I think if you do read in sequence then their backstory would make more sense. I’m not sure I particularly warmed to either of these two characters, although I did feel some sympathy towards Francis, who as someone promoted at a young age over and above more experienced officers, he faces an uphill struggle to get some members of his team on side. Yet he is dogged and determined and stands firm in his convictions which are admirable traits. Like all good fictional detectives, his job comes first, to the exclusion of a personal life, although you do get an insight into his personal feelings/emotions in the scenes featuring his sister and mother. When Tasha Brady is found barely conscious having suffered an horrific attack, her boyfriend Alex Mullins is definitely in the frame for what turns out to be murder. He is portrayed as an easy convenient suspect especially when one of Tasha’s friends becomes the second victim of this killer. And so begins the race to catch whoever is guilty for these gruesome killings before he/she can strike again. Told from multiple perspectives I found this to be an engaging read although unfortunately it was way too obvious to guess the identity of the serial killer. I wasn’t too sure about the inclusion of the whole Marni, Paul, Thierry triangle except perhaps to pave the way for any development in the relationship between Marni and Francis in the future. Overall I do think Her last Breath is well written, quite gruesome in places and nerve wracking at certain points. The events leading up to the revealing of the killer’s identity were tense and gripping and certainly held my attention. Reading this you do get a feel for the seedy side of this seaside city, perhaps proving why it’s a popular choice for the setting of crime/thriller novels. Definitely worth a read, in my opinion, and look forward to future instalments in this series. My thanks as always to the author and publisher and Netgalley for allowing me to read in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julie Lacey

    A great crime thriller they had me racing through the pages. I’ve not read the first book in this series and didn’t feel that I was missing out on anything, so this can be read as a stand-alone. Sullivan is called to help when a girl is found fighting for her life in the early hours of the morning. She’s brutally stabbed, but it’s the tattoo that takes her life. Soon another woman is found in the same position and again there’s nothing that can be done to save her. Sullivan and the team intervie A great crime thriller they had me racing through the pages. I’ve not read the first book in this series and didn’t feel that I was missing out on anything, so this can be read as a stand-alone. Sullivan is called to help when a girl is found fighting for her life in the early hours of the morning. She’s brutally stabbed, but it’s the tattoo that takes her life. Soon another woman is found in the same position and again there’s nothing that can be done to save her. Sullivan and the team interview Alex who was the boyfriend of the first victim, and whilst Rory thinks he’s the killer, Sullivan is not so sure. There’s a real race against time at the end of the book, which I loved. I’ll definitely be reading more of this series as I liked the pace of the story and Sullivan is a great character. Thanks to Orion Publishing Group and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bookish_chrissie

    A crime thriller and court room drama in one, it helps if you have read the first book in this series as it is mentioned a lot but it is not essential. The series is set in Brighton with DI Francis Sullivan is leading the investigation into a very gruesome killing. Their are a lots of story lines running through this book with plenty of action and twists.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lel Budge

    Alex and Tash have a row in a club, she leaves and starts to walk home alone…..but someone has followed her. Early morning, Alex receives a call from Tash, she’s been attacked, so he and his mum, Marni, race to find her. What they find is horrific, Tash has been stabbed, mutilated and tattooed. She’s rushed to hospital and seems to be ok, but she then dies as a reaction to something. The tattoo ink had been poisoned. As Marni is a tattooist and Alex knows about the art too, he is suspected of the a Alex and Tash have a row in a club, she leaves and starts to walk home alone…..but someone has followed her. Early morning, Alex receives a call from Tash, she’s been attacked, so he and his mum, Marni, race to find her. What they find is horrific, Tash has been stabbed, mutilated and tattooed. She’s rushed to hospital and seems to be ok, but she then dies as a reaction to something. The tattoo ink had been poisoned. As Marni is a tattooist and Alex knows about the art too, he is suspected of the attack….But, Detective Francis Sullivan isn’t so sure and that’s not just because he’d once been close to Marni. When another woman is found with the same injuries and dies the same way, the race is on to catch the killer. This is really an edge of your seat thriller, fast paced, great characters and a gripping plot to keep you on a knife edge throughout. Brilliant. Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary Picken

    Her Last Breath is the Brighton set sequel to The Tattoo Thief featuring D.I. Francis Sullivan and tattoo artist Marni Mullins. Though it’s not completely necessary to read The Tattoo Thief first, I’d recommend doing so as the reader will get more from the book as a result. I left The Tattoo Thief thinking that Francis and Marni made something of an odd couple and so it wasn’t entirely surprising when I discovered that as Her Last Breath begins, the two are not together. That’s one of the things Her Last Breath is the Brighton set sequel to The Tattoo Thief featuring D.I. Francis Sullivan and tattoo artist Marni Mullins. Though it’s not completely necessary to read The Tattoo Thief first, I’d recommend doing so as the reader will get more from the book as a result. I left The Tattoo Thief thinking that Francis and Marni made something of an odd couple and so it wasn’t entirely surprising when I discovered that as Her Last Breath begins, the two are not together. That’s one of the things I like about Alison Belsham’s books; her characters are not predictable or cliched. Marni has gone back to her ex, Thierry, and is preparing to give evidence at the trial of the nasty perpetrator of the Tattoo Thief killings; not something she is looking forward to. Then Tash Bradley, the girlfriend of Marni’s son, Alex is found murdered – and Alex is squarely in the frame. When the police discover that tattoos have a role to play in this and then in subsequent murders, things do not look good for Marni or her family. Francis, meanwhile, is dealing with family issues, or rather failing to deal with them. His work ethic is enabling him to keep an emotional distance from everyone he cares about, including his sister and yet he is still finding himself at odds with his boss and one or two of his colleagues. Francis is unconvinced that Alex is the serial killer the police are seeking; lack of evidence has something to do with that, but his boss is concerned that they make a fast arrest and Francis is out on a limb as he refuses to arrest Alex without corroborating evidence. Additionally, he needs Marni to turn up for her court testimony and he’s pretty sure she’s not going to do that if he locks Alex up. All of this is impacting negatively on Marni who has worries of her own. Not only is she concerned about Alex, but she suspects Thierry is cheating on her again and there’s another serious thorn in her flesh that she can’t deal with easily. Told from multiple points of view this is a gripping read that holds the attention. Alison Belsham quickly draws the reader into the pages of the book and she wastes no time in getting to the action. Well plotted and with a deftly concealed perpetrator, Her Last Breath offers an opportunity to get to know the central protagonists better; though Francis wrestles with the personal and does his best to remain a closed book. As a reader, you really do want to help him to unbutton a little, but he is slow to trust and is his own worst enemy. It is Belsham’s distinctive voices and excellent characterisation that really make her books work for me. These are fully fleshed, well-drawn people that I can visualise and whose actions always run true to their character. So, while I’m not sure I like Marni Mullins, I know what she’s been through and where her heart lies and why Francis is drawn to her. The murders themselves are suitably fiendish and grisly and there’s more than one surprise in store as this fast-paced and thrilling police procedural progresses. Verdict: Excellent storytelling, with a well-defined sense of place and a beautifully creepy atmosphere. Some very twisted moments create a real sense of tension and some well laid surprises really hit their mark.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    This book is the second in The Tattoo Thief series, and although the story can be read as a standalone, there is a lot of history between the characters which was regularly mentioned. I enjoyed the story and read it fairly quickly, but I felt at times it got a little frantic and implausible. The narrative jumped around quite a lot, and regularly jumped back to Aimee in 1982. I understand why these chapters were included but while I was reading them they felt a bit excessive. Similarly, the histo This book is the second in The Tattoo Thief series, and although the story can be read as a standalone, there is a lot of history between the characters which was regularly mentioned. I enjoyed the story and read it fairly quickly, but I felt at times it got a little frantic and implausible. The narrative jumped around quite a lot, and regularly jumped back to Aimee in 1982. I understand why these chapters were included but while I was reading them they felt a bit excessive. Similarly, the history of Marni and her ex and his twin, I felt were just a bit unnecessary. The main plot, the killer in Brighton was really good, and very unique, and I feel like the book would have been much more enjoyable to read if there was more of a focus on that and the police work involved.

  22. 5 out of 5

    janine

    A fast paced, gritty, exciting thriller that has you gripped! I was slightly worried before reading as I hadnt read the first in the Tattoo Thief series but even though there are alot of references to the previous novel and the characters, you can read this as a stand alone. It can get confusing at times as the chapters are written from the POV of so many characters, you need a clear head to fully immerse yourself and keep on top of everything that's going on. One of my only negatives to this book A fast paced, gritty, exciting thriller that has you gripped! I was slightly worried before reading as I hadnt read the first in the Tattoo Thief series but even though there are alot of references to the previous novel and the characters, you can read this as a stand alone. It can get confusing at times as the chapters are written from the POV of so many characters, you need a clear head to fully immerse yourself and keep on top of everything that's going on. One of my only negatives to this book is that if you have read the previous book it gives away the whole story so you know the identity of the perpetrator BUT that's purely down to the fact I hadnt read the first in what I'm sure will become a series. 3* Thank you to netgalley and Orion Publishing for the ARC.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Louise Mullins

    It took me a while to get into this story, but I found it very well drawn out when I did. There was a blooper in Chapter Sixty-Five: WPC's have not existed since the nineties and this book is based in 2017. A PC is a Police Constable, whatever their sex. I felt rather distanced from the characters in this novel, some of their motivations and behaviours didn't ring true or weren't fully explained. However the plot had an interesting concept and an original route that kept me intrigued throughout, It took me a while to get into this story, but I found it very well drawn out when I did. There was a blooper in Chapter Sixty-Five: WPC's have not existed since the nineties and this book is based in 2017. A PC is a Police Constable, whatever their sex. I felt rather distanced from the characters in this novel, some of their motivations and behaviours didn't ring true or weren't fully explained. However the plot had an interesting concept and an original route that kept me intrigued throughout, so it deserves four stars.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Juliet Bookliterati

    Her Last Breath is the long awaited sequel to Alison Belsham’s Tattoo Thief released last year. A young girl is attacked, badly beaten, and newly tattooed on her back, she dies twenty four hours later in hospital. After a second girl disappears Detective Inspector Frances Sullivan finds himself in a race against time to stop the killer killing again. The problem is the main suspect is Alex Mullins, son of Marni Mullins, who he had an affair with the previous year. Fast paced, gritty and intellig Her Last Breath is the long awaited sequel to Alison Belsham’s Tattoo Thief released last year. A young girl is attacked, badly beaten, and newly tattooed on her back, she dies twenty four hours later in hospital. After a second girl disappears Detective Inspector Frances Sullivan finds himself in a race against time to stop the killer killing again. The problem is the main suspect is Alex Mullins, son of Marni Mullins, who he had an affair with the previous year. Fast paced, gritty and intelligent, this is a book that takes hold and doesn’t let go. Her Last Breath is even better than The Tattoo Thief, and that was a huge five start read. Alison Belsham has an even more warped killer, and an original way of killing the victims, a bit gruesome at times, but let’s be honest that makes for a more addictive read. The tension builds and I found myself reading and turning the pages faster and faster in a state of anticipation as to who the killer was. The plot is complex, with many layers that seem disparate, but as the book progresses and builds momentum, these threads knit together to reveal the spine tingling conclusion. I always like revisiting characters and it was good to see DI Sullivan and Marni Mullins back. After their previous affair there is now a coolness between them, a sense of mistrust that only builds when Marni’s son is the main suspect. Marnie already has a deep mistrust of the police after serving a jail sentence many years ago. She feels betrayed by DI Sullivan when he thinks her son Alex is the killer, to her it feels personal. DI Frances Sullivan is a character I felt great sympathy for. He is the youngest DI in the police and his lack of experience is something that is thrown at him frequently. His boss DCI Bradshaw has no faith in him, either does his Sergeant Rory Mackay, and both collude behind his back seeming to undermine him at every possible opportunity. A well as his problems at work he has family problems. His mother and sister both have MS, and with his mother in hospital he is feeling the pressure. His sister doesn’t think he is around enough, putting work ahead of his mum, and she needs support as she has no one to help her. It is no wonder he is feeling stressed and second guessing some of his actions. I admire the way he does keep the calm, exterior when underneath he is fuming. Her Last Breath is even better than The Tattoo Thief, and I never thought I would say that, I was blown away by the first book but this is the next level up. A complex and intelligent plot line, a dark and twisted killer, and great characters make for a fantastically compelling read, I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kath

    4.5 stars Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the first in the series earlier this year, I was quite excited to see what the author had in store for me this time. How could she possible top the heinous crimes committed in book one? And, what fallout would there be from Sullivan's shenanigans with Marnie? Well, I'm pleased to report that the author managed to excel herself on both counts. She even included the next step from the arrest that was made at the end of book one so, if you haven't already 4.5 stars Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the first in the series earlier this year, I was quite excited to see what the author had in store for me this time. How could she possible top the heinous crimes committed in book one? And, what fallout would there be from Sullivan's shenanigans with Marnie? Well, I'm pleased to report that the author managed to excel herself on both counts. She even included the next step from the arrest that was made at the end of book one so, if you haven't already read that book I would so so before you read this one as not only would it spoil book one for you with the ensuing court case, but you won't get the best from that element in this book. A young woman is brutally attacked and maimed. A tattoo is found on her back along with some other quite nasty wounds. She later dies in hospital; the doctor confused initially as she appeared to be responding to treatment. Autopsy however revealed that the tattoo was the cause of death. Two key elements of the crime brings tattooist Marnie into the case that Francis Sullivan finds himself, along with his team, investigating. Then there's a second victim... Meanwhile Francis is up against things personally as his mother is hospitalised and has to juggle work and home life. Something he is not comfortable doing. And then there's a second victim. With time running out and the number one suspect not ringing true for him, can he cut through the noise and figure things out before the perpetrator strikes again...? Oh My Goodness, this book is seriously dark. And complicated. Well, complex. There's a lot going on that makes Francis's job overly difficult. Not only the current case but also his personal life, an overzealous journalist who is getting information from somewhere. And then there's Marnie's personal life which is also imploding. And that's the reason for the half star, rounded down. There was probably, for me anyway, a little too much happening. Especially when you also factor in the fallout from book one. Sorry but it all became a little overwhelming for me. And then there are the inserted chapters which follow a young girl growing up... Other than that, the story did grip me and I found it very hard to put down. I read it pretty much straight through; stopping only to go out for lunch! Definitely compelling reading. All in all, grumbles aside, a cracking follow-up to book one. The bar has definitely been set for book three and I will definitely be looking out for that! My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mandie

    Having read The Tattoo Thief in one day and absolutely loving it, I had Her Last Breath on pre order as soon as it was available and eagerly awaited its publication. Was it worth the wait…that is a big resounding yes from me and once again I found myself devouring the book in a day (much to my OH’s disgust…as apparently it is not acceptable to disturb his sleep until after midnight by reading in bed) Once again we are back with DI Francis Sullivan and his team as he tries to find out who is behin Having read The Tattoo Thief in one day and absolutely loving it, I had Her Last Breath on pre order as soon as it was available and eagerly awaited its publication. Was it worth the wait…that is a big resounding yes from me and once again I found myself devouring the book in a day (much to my OH’s disgust…as apparently it is not acceptable to disturb his sleep until after midnight by reading in bed) Once again we are back with DI Francis Sullivan and his team as he tries to find out who is behind the murders of several young women in Brighton. When the first victim turns out to be the girlfriend of Alex Mullins, Sullivan is thrown into the path of Marnie Mullins as Alex is her son. Although nothing happened, he is acutely aware of the attraction between them, so he is not best pleased when Alex becomes their prime suspect (at least in the eyes of some of his team and his boss). He also needs to keep her on side for her testimony in the trial of the killer from the first book (no spoilers here in case you have not read The Tattoo Thief). If the increasing body count was not enough for him to deal with, issues in his personal life are leaving him torn between his duty and commitment to both his family and his job, which do leave him a little distracted at times and ripe to be undermined by his Sergeant. I can understand why they were only looking at Alex, he really didn’t help himself as like most teenagers he became surly and uncooperative when cornered, so not the sign of an innocent man as far as the police were concerned…plus he knew all the victims. This is a fast-paced book that keeps your attention from the start. The attacks on the girls are gruesome and their suffering whilst short lived is excruciating so this book may not be for the feint hearted (personally I love a book that has me going eugh and ooo in equal measure). As they race to find piece together the evidence you are taken along for the ride to identify the killer. I have no problem in admitting that I didn’t have a clue right until the end and some of the events even left me reeling. Although this is a sequel, there is enough history in this book to work very well as a stand-alone. My only warning with this is that if you read this book first it does contain spoilers for what happens in the Tattoo Thief so you may want to start with that one. Alison Belsham has produced another absolute corker of a book and I am so looking forward to the next in the series and begin my stalking of Amazon awaiting the day I can put it on pre order

  27. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Kelly

    A young woman is attacked and dies 24 hours later, despite being found and taken to hospital. A second young woman is then killed in the same way. A team of police officers headed up by Detective Francis Sullivan are racing against time to prevent the body count rising. Detective Sullivan also has to contend with family problems, a team member who disagrees with his decisions and feelings for the main suspects mother. When I read a book, I’m looking for characters that I feel something for, not n A young woman is attacked and dies 24 hours later, despite being found and taken to hospital. A second young woman is then killed in the same way. A team of police officers headed up by Detective Francis Sullivan are racing against time to prevent the body count rising. Detective Sullivan also has to contend with family problems, a team member who disagrees with his decisions and feelings for the main suspects mother. When I read a book, I’m looking for characters that I feel something for, not necessarily liking them but some sort of feeling. And in a book like this, where you are racing against time, I want a book that creates the suspense, a build up to the ending. Did Her Last Breath deliver? Yes it did although I found it a bit of a slow burn initially. The book centres around Detective Francis Sullivan, Marni Mullins and her son Alex, Rory McKay, and a number of other characters. From the outset, I liked Detective Sullivan but I struggled a little with the relationship, or not, between him and Marni Mullins. It just didn’t quite ring true to me. Perhaps if I had read the author’s first novel, I might have felt differently. Thankfully, this didn’t affect my overall feelings on the novel. As for Marni’s son, Alex, I liked him. The way the author described Alex, how he felt about Tash, his emotions around finding her, these all felt realistic and I genuinely wanted him not to be the killer. Rory, one of Francis’ team, I am still not sure if I trust him and I can’t say I liked him in the book. But that I think was necessary to make the relationship between Francis and Rory work. What about the suspense? The diary entries intrigued me and I wanted to know how they were connected to the killings. Initially, the book was a bit of a slow burn but as the victims began to mount up and the race to find the killer sped up, I did get carried along with the suspense and wanted to find out who the killer was and whether he would be stopped in time. Wanting to know who the killer is, not wanting to put the book down until you find out - that is the sign of a good book. There are a number of references throughout the book to the events of the first book. I don’t think it is necessary to have read the first book but I do intend to go back and read the first book now. Overall, I would describe this book as a slow burn with a fast finish. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    Her Last Breath is the second instalment in Alison Belsham's Brighton based Sullivan and Mullins series, featuring DI Francis Sullivan. Even though I haven't read the first book, The Tattoo Thief, I dived straight in anyway as the story outline sounded appealing... and I'm so pleased I took the plunge! There were shades of book one in Her Last Breath, which took me a bit of time to fathom. Marni Mullins and her son, Alex are tattooists. Marni is married to Thierry, though their marria Her Last Breath is the second instalment in Alison Belsham's Brighton based Sullivan and Mullins series, featuring DI Francis Sullivan. Even though I haven't read the first book, The Tattoo Thief, I dived straight in anyway as the story outline sounded appealing... and I'm so pleased I took the plunge! There were shades of book one in Her Last Breath, which took me a bit of time to fathom. Marni Mullins and her son, Alex are tattooists. Marni is married to Thierry, though their marriage is troubled, and she is a witness in a current court case brought about from prior terrifying events. When a young woman is brutally attacked and maimed, a tattoo is found on her back, along with some other nasty wounds. The woman, named Tash, later dies in hospital and at first, the doctor is confused as she had previously been responding to treatment. The post mortem revealed that the tattoo was the cause of death. Key elements of the crime require Marni's involvement with the case that DI Francis Sullivan finds himself investigating. When a young woman disappears, Detective Francis Sullivan and his team fear a serial killer is walking Brighton's streets... I revelled in the highly suspenseful writing of Alison Belsham, and I could really feel the frustration and determination of the team coming through. Francis Sullivan was an excellent protagonist, and the level of emotion he displayed made him extremely endearing. In addition to the investigation, there was a great deal going on in his personal life that made things even more difficult for him. The narrative skipped seamlessly between Francis, Marni, Alex and a girl named Aimee, who from the summer of 1982 onward, was experiencing an increasingly horrific childhood. Her Last Breath was a gripping cat-and-mouse tale by an author who masterfully teased out all my emotions, and this is a series which can only grow all the more compelling with every instalment. Once I have caught up with book one, I'll be ready to look forward to book three! I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Orion via NetGalley at my request, and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Collins

    I really like the characters in this series. When I read Alison Belsham’s debut novel, The Tattoo Thief, I thought it was one of the most original crime novels I’d read in a long time. When I read her last book, it made me think that I would definitely never get a tattoo. It was such a chilling read, and she has done it again with her second book, Her Last Breath. I did wonder how Alison was going to carry this series on, and she has created an absolute belter of a book. There are some particula I really like the characters in this series. When I read Alison Belsham’s debut novel, The Tattoo Thief, I thought it was one of the most original crime novels I’d read in a long time. When I read her last book, it made me think that I would definitely never get a tattoo. It was such a chilling read, and she has done it again with her second book, Her Last Breath. I did wonder how Alison was going to carry this series on, and she has created an absolute belter of a book. There are some particularly gruesome scenes in this book, and once again Alison has created a terrifying serial killer who is terrorising the streets of Brighton. Tattoo artist Marni Mullins is once again at the centre of this new investigation. When her son’s girlfriend is attacked, he is put firmly in the spotlight of the police probe leaving Marni exasperated. She desperately seeks her friend’s help, Detective Francis Sullivan, who is in charge of the case. But suspicions raise when more people who Alex is acquainted with are attacked and especially when the attacks turn to murder. This is a really tense read. I really felt Marni’s exasperation as she tried to clear her son’s name of any involvement in the attacks. It did make me feel angry as well when some of the detectives on the case seemed utterly convinced right from the start that he was responsible, even though there was little evidence to support their claims. It did make me wonder how Marni was going to get her son out of it. You really do get the sense of a race against time as the police try to find the person responsible for the crimes before they strike again. Alison Belsham kept me turning the pages as the book reached its conclusion. I literally could not put it down. Her Last Breath is a really gripping and an intense read. I can’t wait to read the next book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline sharp

    This being the sequel to Alison Belshams The Tattoo Thief, I did feel a little bit behind, had I known it was a sequel I would have read the first one before this, especially as there were some references to the previous book, as well as the trial. However, that being said this is a good read, if you like your crime thrillers a little more on the gritty and gruesome side this is for you. A cosy mystery this is not. A police procedural book, thriller. There are quite a few characters, some of the This being the sequel to Alison Belshams The Tattoo Thief, I did feel a little bit behind, had I known it was a sequel I would have read the first one before this, especially as there were some references to the previous book, as well as the trial. However, that being said this is a good read, if you like your crime thrillers a little more on the gritty and gruesome side this is for you. A cosy mystery this is not. A police procedural book, thriller. There are quite a few characters, some of them seemed a little bit pointless as they didn’t really add anything much to the story. The story wastold through the points of view of some of the characters, I’m not always keen when books do this as they flit back and forth but this wasn’t too bad and I managed to keep up. Set in Brighton with DI Francis and his team and tattoo artist Marni Mullins. Tash Bradley phones her boyfriend after being attacked and is rushed to hospital, but unfortunately she doesn’t make it and dies the following day. This puts the boyfriend Alex Mullins under suspicion, when another girl linked with Alex disappears, he becomes prime suspect. Marni Mullins will do anything to prove her son is innocent, and DI Francis doesn’t believe that Alex is guilty either, despite the rest of his team thinking he is guilty. This is overall a really good read I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read the first book before this one, but that is just my opinion. The characters are well rounded and if there are more books to come I’m sure we will get to know more about them, I love seeing characters grow over time. I would like to thank netgalley and Trapeze publishers for letting me have an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.