Erin Fallon is the eldest daughter of an Irish immigrant who took his family to a small town on the Lancashire/Cumbria border for what he believed to be a better life. It was what her mother wanted, but once she got it, it wasn’t enough. She had to have more. Leonard Fitch is an eminent neurosurgeon. His mother was never satisfied either, and her constant demands led to his father being killed in a motor accident. Leonard loved his father; he was the only person to treat him with kindness and affection. He hated his mother but could never stand up to her. Tormented and ridiculed throughout his childhood, Leonard swore to exact revenge on womankind in general, but mothers in particular. At a secluded lodge in the depths of Bleazedale Forest, for four years he carries out the most abominable atrocities with impunity. He takes girls on their birthday and keeps them holed up for a full twelve months before killing them and sending their mothers a birthday card with a picture of their beloved little girl, dead and with their severed feet placed either side of their head.
Leonard Fitch is ugly, lanky, ridiculed and tormented. He is also murderous and vengeful. He is The Birthday Killer.
A sick, disturbed and twisted individual he was one that I absolutely loved getting to know.
I loved Erin who is strong, thoughtful and sixteen years old who after her mother leaves the family home has to make the best of it. Taking care of her brothers and her sister, she helps keep the family together.
Then she is taken.
Rings of Smoke is a superb read. It is gripping, gory and brutal.
The story itself is one that kept me reading till I finished the read in one sitting and satisfied my blood thirst immensely.
Diane O’Toole is not an author I am familiar with but is one that I will be looking out for. She manages to fill you with terror whilst at the same time engages the reader with emotion and her storytelling is quite compelling.
There is to be a sequel to this novel and I for one cannot wait for it.
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