Book Review: The Teacher, by Katerina Diamond #DoYouDare?

Publisher: Avon (Harper Collins UK)   |   Publication date:  10th March 2016

The Teacher - My Review

The TeacherYes, yes, that apple on the cover looks intriguing, doesn’t it? But you know what they say about biting off more than you can chew, hmmm? Well that applies more than you would know on this occasion. When this book summary says “not for the faint-hearted” it means it, with absolute sincerity.

The Teacher doesn’t simply contain borderline obscene, graphic and explicit content, it crosses over it into another style of crime read altogether; not quite stomach-churning, horror, yet not your run-of-the-mill police thriller either. Why so unsavoury do you ask? Well, every sadistic act that is committed throughout the narrative possesses a much deeper meaning for the murderer, which you will discover if you actually make it to the end.

The upshot of the story is our anonymous and savage killer is targeting a generation of upstanding members of the community, mainly persons connected to a private educational establishment. The chosen few are subjected to an unthinkable darkness tailored to inflict the most pain, each having absolute precision and attention to detail.

I’ll be honest it took me a while to warm to the investigative team that were on the scene. They have their own share of issues that are more than your usual downtrodden cop angst. The author gives very little away so at first they appear challenged, but unlikeable. Give them a chance, they’ve exceeded their emotional baggage allowance twice over.

Their past is their driving force and has shaped them to become who they are today. Mistakes at previous levels of their careers leaves them vulnerable to being singled-out by the top brass and having to accept their pecking order within the department. The ‘misfit duo’ are thrown together thinking the move will punish them somehow, but unbeknown to those around them their individual suffering will make them more suited to catch a vicious killer than any of their esteemed colleagues with their popularity and ‘unblemished’ records.

DS Adrian ‘Miley’ Miles is one half of the duo. He is told to work leads from behind the scenes, as he previously showed stalker tendencies toward the son of one of the victims. But will the cases be linked without him? Unorthodox methods of policing come into play to push his line of enquiry forward, much to the disapproval of those above. And no partnership would be complete without another sacrificial lamb in the form of DS Imogen Grey, who ‘Miley’ says dresses like the skater Tony Hawks.

As the odd couple accept each others idiosyncrasies, an excellent repartee and witty personal insults evolve to flood the pages. It creates an extremely successful mini-team that goes from strength to strength.

Brutality and degradation continues to feature heavily, even for secondary characters – the good, the bad, and the ugly (and pretty much anyone really), won’t escape attention. The content will surely raise a few eyebrows here and there. It has a wicked pace that might leave you wincing, but it yields an end result that is spot-on for the nature of the plot.

In its defence The Teacher begs the question of what happens when justice can’t be served in the traditional manner we all rely on. Sometimes the only way forward is to fight fire with fire. Despite the heinous nature of their first outing together I’d like to see these firefighters again. Although they are unrefined and bullish one trait they share is being wholly committed, even when the burden of their own demons are doing a terrific job of interfering with their better judgement.

Can they make the right choices to ensure those responsible get what they deserve? Would they recognise who that is any more? This is not an open and shut case for DS Miles and Grey. Don’t say you haven’t been warned…

Rating: 4/5

(My thanks to the Publisher and Helena Sheffield for providing a digital copy of this book for review, via NetGalley.)

The Teacher Book Summary

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

You think you know who to trust? You think you know the difference between good and evil?

You’re wrong …

The Teacher is a debut crime novel from Katerina DiamondIt will upturn everything you thought you knew …


The body of the head teacher of an exclusive Devon school is found hanging from the rafters in the assembly hall.

Hours earlier he’d received a package, and only he could understand the silent message it conveyed. It meant the end.

As Exeter suffers a rising count of gruesome deaths, troubled DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles must solve the case and make their city safe again.

But as they’re drawn into a network of corruption, lies and exploitation, every step brings them closer to grim secrets hidden at the heart of their community.

And once they learn what’s motivating this killer, will they truly want to stop him?


This is a psychological crime thriller in a class of its own.

WARNING:  Most definitely *not* for the faint-hearted!



The Teacher Author Links







4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Teacher, by Katerina Diamond #DoYouDare?

  1. Great review Wendy – I clicked on it right away as I’ve been approved for it, and so far I’ve only read one review, which didn’t tell me much really. I loved your use of apples; I wish I thought of things like that. Actually, I probably wouldn’t be able to do it anyway, but would waste several hours trying, so for the sake of domestic harmony, I’m glad I’m not imaginative like you. Or imaginative and not crap on my laptop! Loved it all the same. Enjoyed your “emotional baggage” comment too!!
    When you mentioned witty repartee, I thought how much that lightens up a book that’s on the gruesome side – Stuart MacBride uses it to fantastic effect; without it, books like these are just too grim. Thanks for the great review Wendy – must squeeze this one in (in fact, I think I’ll go for a wee nosey the now…) Great use of symbolism in the cover design too, actually; perfect cover. And btw, the book below you’re reading – Beneath The Surface – looks good too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re very kind, thank you. Your reviews are just wonderful as they are – I clearly have waaay too much time on my hands! I don’t know if you’ve started this yet, but you may find it particularly disturbing at first. DO keep reading – the ‘why’ will fall into place. Can’t wait to hear what you think! And yes, I’m happy to report that Beneath The Surface is also pretty good too 🙂


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