Jackie Baldwin

Dead Man’s Prayer

"From page one the prose is tight and punchy."


Ex-priest DI Frank Farrell has returned to his roots in Dumfries, only to be landed with a disturbing murder case. Even worse, Farrell knows the victim: Father Boyd, the man who forced him out of the priesthood eighteen years earlier.

With no leads, Farrell must delve into the old priest’s past, one that is inexorably linked with his own. But his attention is diverted when twin boys go missing. The Dumfries police force recover one in an abandoned church, unharmed. But where is his brother?

As Farrell investigates the two cases, he can’t help but feel targeted. Is someone playing a sinister game, or is he seeing patterns that don’t exist? Either way, it’s a game Farrell needs to win before he loses his grip on his sanity, or someone else turns up dead.

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One of the best things about being a reviewer for Crimesquad.com is discovering new authors before anyone else. Jackie Baldwin is an exciting author whose debut novel is one which will stay with me for a long time. Farrell has unusual demons to face and the whole past-affecting-the-present was executed with a high level of skill from Baldwin. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, the tension was increased by another dastardly deed as the killer engaged Farrell in a twisted game of cat-and-mouse. The lead was beautifully created and his interaction with others showed not just his character but theirs. Mhairi McLeod was the finest of the support cast but Lind, Walker and Moore all deserve a mention as does Mrs F. From page one the prose is tight and punchy with just enough description to spark the imagination of dark deeds and fantastically dark characters. The more I read, the faster I found myself turning the pages as I raced through Baldwin’s assured debut. I’m already wondering how long it’ll be before I can read the next instalment.

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