‘The Executioner’ by Heather Opperman


Alex Reid lives a charmed life. He has a job he loves, a wife who adores him, and a home which has been featured in magazines. As a Detective in the Serious and Violent Crimes unit in Cape Town, South Africa, Alex is fortunate to live in a country where serial killers are few and far between. But in a whirlwind turn of events, Alex finds himself locked in a life and death struggle with a malevolent serial killer who has chosen Alex as his arch nemesis.  As the body count rises, Alex must try to overcome his own personal tragedy and loss, and go head to head with the man the media have dubbed the Executioner. Will Alex stop him before he extracts his final revenge?


My Review

I have a rather embarrassing confession to make.  Yes yet another one.  I have had ‘The Executioner’ on my mahoosive ‘To Be Read’ mountain for a fair while now but I just haven’t had the time to read it yet.  Oh the shame of it.  When the lovely Jill Burkinshaw invited me to take part in the blog tour for ‘The Executioner’, I thought it would be the ideal opportunity to acquaint myself with Heather’s book.  After having read ‘The Executioner’ I am now mad at myself for leaving it this long to read it.  I absolutely loved reading ‘The Executioner’ but more about that in a bit.

Detective Alex Reid is certainly a character that I will not forget in a hurry.  He is a detective with a lot of experience.  He didn’t have the easiest of starts as he had a bit of difficult childhood.  Reid seems to be happily married and he lives with his wife in a cottage.  Reid specialises in serious and violent crimes and he certainly knows his stuff.  He has a gut instinct about crimes and more often than not his gut instinct is pretty much spot on.  Detective Reid has a male work partner who is not only of a different race but a different religion too.  There’s definitely a spark there and the verbal sparring between them can be quite amusing at times.  Each complements the other and they are certainly a good team.  Detective Reid has empathy with the victims of crime and he resolves to do what he can to achieve justice for the victims of crime and their families.

Oh my goodness gracious me, ‘The Executioner’ is one hell of a read and it is superbly written.  I found it hard to believe that this was a debut novel as the author’s writing style is so polished and so confident that I genuinely thought that Heather had written lots of books.  The author grabs your attention from the start and draws you into the story.  It’s safe to say that I did become addicted to reading this book- in fact I knew just by reading the synopsis for this book that this was one book that would be unputdownable and so it proved to be.  The crimes in the book are rather gruesome in nature (similar to those crimes in the bestselling books by Chris Carter) but I think that is part of the reason why I was glued to the book.  No I am not a sadist or a budding serial killer, the crimes appalled me that much that I had to keep reading to see if Reid actually managed to apprehend the guilty party without further loss of life or without any harm coming to anybody.

One of the main attractions of this book for me was the fact that the story is set in South Africa.  I have a soft spot for South Africa, I love the accent, I would love to learn Afrikaans and I want to travel over to South Africa for a holiday.  Reading this book certainly strengthened my determination to visit the country.  The fact that the book was set in South Africa certainly made the book stand out to me.  The vast majority of the crime books I read are set in America or the United Kingdom so it was refreshing to read a book set somewhere new- or at least new to me.

Reading this book was like being on one hell of a scary and unpredictable rollercoaster ride with more twists and turns than you would find on a Snakes & Ladders board.  At times I almost had to read through my fingers as I dreaded what awaited me over the next page.  I then realised that of course I had to read the book if I had any hope of discovering how the story concluded.

In short, I absolutely loved reading ‘The Executioner’ and I will definitely be recommending it to other readers.  I can’t wait to read further books written by Heather Opperman.  This book deserves to be a bestselling hit.  For me, Heather Opperman is right up there on my most favourite authors list.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.

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