Genre: Crime Thriller
Length: 288 Pages
Publisher: FLAME TREE PRESS
Release date: February 14, 2019
Brian Sheridan may be losing his mind.
Asleep, he’s plagued by dreams of murder, women strangled with a red velvet rope then left with a playing card tucked in the corpse. While awake, he’s hallucinating that he’s being stalked by a man painted like a skeleton. It’s getting hard to know what’s real. He hopes all this is driven by his cold turkey withdrawal from a lifetime of anti-anxiety medications.
But when one of his nightmare’s victims shows up on the news, dead, Brian fears he himself may be the unwitting killer…
Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review
I’ve enjoyed many of Russell James’ books and The Playing Card Killer is amongst my favorites. The Curse of the Viper King and Q Island also make my favorites list. From action/adventure to an apocalypse, and now a crime thriller, Russell James keeps writing great books and telling engaging stories. I liked The Playing Card Killer from the start as Brian Sheridan ‘sees’ his first vision of the killings. Crimes that he later finds himself tangled in and struggling to keep clear of blame.
This character was easy to like as he tries to get off his meds and live a more normal life. Russell does a bang-up job creating a character filled to the max with anxiety. As the visions and killings continue we are introduced to another fine character, Detective Weissbard. A hard-working cop trying to do the right thing while working against every obstacle thrown at him. I really liked this guy straight away, the outsider and former NYPD officer now working at the Tampa Police Department. The other side of the coin includes an excellent antagonist. One that was downright creepy and as psychopathic as can be. The Playing Card Killer is a great crime thriller with a cleaver plot and well written characters. If you love thrillers and crime fiction I’d recommend giving this one a read.
Russell James, Biography-
Russell James grew up on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching Chiller, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and The Twilight Zone, despite his parents’ warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn’t make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.
After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight. He has written the paranormal thrillers Dark Inspiration, Sacrifice, Black Magic, Dark Vengeance, and Dreamwalker. He has several horror short story collections, including Tales from Beyond and Deeper into Darkness, as well as some science fiction collections. Now, Q Island, released July 7, 2015 and he’s already under contract for his next book for 2016.
His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says “There is something seriously wrong with you.” He and his wife share their home in sunny Florida with two cats.