Source: Review copy
Publication: 15 July 2021 from Trapeze
Length: 9 hours 21 minutes
Narrator: Jude Owusu
My thanks to the publisher and Compulsive Readers for an advance copy for review
In life she was his muse . . .
In death she’ll be his masterpiece
1989: DS Benjamin Chambers and DC Adam Winters are on the trail of a serial killer with a twisted passion for recreating the world’s greatest works of art through the bodies of his victims. After Chambers nearly loses his life, the case goes cold due to lack of evidence. The killer lies dormant, his collection unfinished.
2006: DS Marshall has excelled through the ranks of the Metropolitan Police Service, despite being haunted by the case that defined her teenage years. Having obtained new evidence, she joins Chambers and Winters to reopen the case. However, their resurrected investigation brings about a fresh reign of terror, the team treading a fine line between delivering justice and becoming vigilantes in their pursuit of a monster far more dangerous and intelligent than any of them had anticipated…
After his enthralling Ragdoll series, I was intrigued to see what Daniel Cole would come up with next. Mimic has the same dark tone and I still absolutely love Daniel Cole’s sardonic black humour which shines through in Mimic.
Beautifully read by Jude Owusu, this audio book was a delight to listen to. Owusu catches the irony in Cole’s writing splendidly and makes the most of the novel’s humour, contained in the interchange between characters, without ever overdoing it. His rich tonality adds warmth to a story that is sometimes very chilling indeed.
Mimic is told in two timelines, the initial murders in 1989 and the revival of the cold case in 2006.
In 1989, Detective Benjamin Chambers attends the scene of a murder in Hyde Park. In unusual circumstances he meets Winters, a rookie cop. The murder is a strange one. The body has been staged in the pose of a Rodin’s famous sculpture ‘The Thinker’. It turns out this is not the last of such murders and again Winters and Chambers team up to track down this deadly art lover. Together they go on a hunt to catch their killer but their theories are scoffed at by Chamber’s boss who prefers a convenient confession and Chambers is suspended from duty, much to the chagrin of his partner, Eve. Still, he can’t resist pursuing his ideas about who is responsible, despite receiving a warning from the killer. But his adversary is ready for him and Chambers almost dies trying to catch the killer.
Seven years later. Detective Constable Jordan Marshall is a trainee and a rising star in the Met but in her spare time investigates cold murder cases as a result of something that has haunted her since she was a teenager. Full of piercings and well inked, she is brilliant and has a razor sharp mind. Reviewing the statues cases, she realises that Chambers and Winters were onto something with their theories about the killer and contacts Winters.
Winters no longer works for the police; he’s now a security guard at Sainsbury’s. He’s not the man he used to be and Chambers is also a shadow of his former self. But Marshall is determined and pulls the pair into her investigation only for them to find that the killings start up again.
Chambers, Winters and Marshall make for an interesting trio. Marshall is focussed and driven; a repressed anger making her unrelenting in her quest to find a killer. Both Chambers and Winters are more cautious, understanding just how deadly this killer is. They made an unlikely couple, yet something in these opposites attracting just works and adding Marshall into the mix makes them a formidable, if odd, team. As Marshall’s investigation gains momentum and becomes official, so they realise that this killer has more work to do and they are in a race against time to catch their perpetrator.
Mimic is full of tension and Daniel Cole really does make the most of his delightful penchant for creating the most macabre murders. It’s that curious but eminently workable mix of serial killer, horror and humour that is the essence of much of Cole’s writing.
Where Cole excels is in the creativity of his murders and the excellent characters he brings to the table. Mimic has tension and is a real thriller, even if we know fairly early on who the perpetrator is. That’s not an issue though, as the tension comes in the dangerous thrill of the chase and the creativity of the killer.
Verdict: Creative, dark, gritty and humorous, Mimic is a great listen. It didn’t grow on me quite as much as Cole’s previous trilogy, but these detectives work really well together and I can see that they might well have a future.
Daniel Cole has worked as a paramedic, an RSPCA officer and most recently for the RNLI, driven by an intrinsic need to save people or perhaps just a guilty conscience about the number of characters he kills off in his writing. He currently lives in sunny Bournemouth and can usually be found down the beach when he ought to be writing. Daniel’s debut novel Ragdoll was a Sunday Times bestseller and has been published in over thirty-five countries.