Review: Faceless (DI Rosalind Kray, #1) by Rob Ashman

“Being psycho doesn’t make you bad, being bad makes you bad. Being a psycho and bad makes you dangerous.”

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Bloodhound Books | 2018

Filed Under: Face/Off without Nic Cage.

If you’re the kind of person who just can’t resist a UK crime procedural with a damaged main character and a twisted killer who masturbates a lot (like a lot,) then this is the book for you, you fucking weirdo.

Lucky for me, I’m a weirdo too, so I was totally into this first instalment in the Rosalind Kray series.

Rosalind is everything you want to be – drunk and eating junk food.

Good times.

She’s also a single mother since her husband was murdered. Rosalind carries around survivor’s guilt by the butt-load, uses alcohol just to sleep, uses casual sex with her partner to numb the pain and investigates murder as a distraction.

So, you know, everything you don’t want to be.

Roz’s first case since returning to work after her husband’s death just happens to be a serial killer, because there’s not even the tiniest smidgen of levity in this fucking novel. Everything is dark and terrible and you’ll love it.

bill hader or is it piss GIF by Saturday Night Live

It’s very obvious to everyone, except for maybe Roz, that’s she not coping well with being a new widow with kids at home and a demanding job. It’s a learning curve and she’s doing the best she can, okay?! But on top of everything else, her superiors start questioning her every move and eventually give her big case away to the stupid man detective who can’t tie his shoelaces, let alone close a case the right way. But at least he’s not emotional.

Honestly, the way Roz is treated at times is infuriating. It got my feminist hackles up. Credit to Rob Ashman for writing a plot aspect for a female lead MC, which rang true and gave me the rage.

angry cate blanchett GIF

The killer in this book is not for the weak. He’s a sicko, and his actions are described in detail. Let’s just say, it’s titled Faceless for a reason. There are a lot of boners, lots of faces in freezers, lots of masturbating with snake venom…whatever. You get the picture. If you’re not into books that are more explicit, maybe steer clear of this one.

But you know your girl loves her novels graphic and honest, so I had zero problems with the weird shit this killer enacts in order to satisfy his deranged fantasies and revenge.

My one little ugh for this review is that the killer was a tad bit cliché. The mommy issues, the creepy rhymes that he recited while jerking off, the ritual upon ritual he cooked up that didn’t seem to be rooted in any clear pathology… it was overkill, no pun intended. Couldn’t we have just picked one weird serial killer stereotype instead of eleventy-hundred?

jamie kennedy hes got killer printed all over his forehead GIF

It was a tad eye-roll-inducing for me at times. But, that’s just me. You know I never like anything 100%.

The pacing of this is actually pretty action-packed considering it’s a procedural with intense character-driven elements. It’s intense, dark, full of tension and twisty moments, but centred around a damaged, broken cop who grounds the whole novel in her grief and the aftermath of it.

If you’re a crime reader, it’s a no-brainer addition to your TBR, honestly.


After surviving a vicious knife attack, which left her husband dead, DI Rosalind Kray returns to work and is handed a serial killer investigation.

This killer is different, he doesn’t just want to take the lives of his victims, he wants to obliterate their very existence. The murders appear random but the killer selects his quarry with meticulous care.

While fighting her superiors Kray must conquer her own demons, which are tearing her apart.

Kray has the ability to think like a killer and her skills lead to a series of horrifying revelations that turn the case on its head. She believes she is getting close, then her world comes crashing down with devastating consequences.

Will Kray find the murderer and escape with her own life in tact?

The truth is closer than she could have ever imagined…

Book source: The publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a review.

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