Book Review: Rattle, By Fiona Cummins #Rattle

Publisher:  Pan Macmillan

Publication date: 26th January 2017


rattle-by-fiona-cummins-coverThere is a distinctive, malevolent streak in Rattle that is not to be missed. It’s the kind of book that cackles with delight as it confidently struts passed the realm of crime thriller and into a territory where only the darkest mind can thrive, ominously gathering pace with the rustle of every page turn.

Still haunted by the unsolved mystery of what became of little Grace Rodriguez over a year ago, the daunting task of detecting falls with a thud onto Detective Sergeant Etta Fitzroy.

As her personal life discreetly implodes, Clara Foyle vanishes from the school gates. Elsewhere Clara’s mother was having her nails done, abandoning the responsibility of her child to someone else, and not for the first time. Her vanity quickly disappears as her perfect world caves in and is soaked liberally in alcohol.

Meanwhile, Erdman and Lilian Frith’s son, Jakey, is being wrapped in parental cotton wool to prevent his bones from taking a knock due to an exceedingly rare and painful medical condition. Time is already ticking for the boy to have a ‘normal’ life before it is cruelly stolen, and they only wish to protect him from the little things that can hurt him until that day finally comes. You’d think they’d have enough to contend with during frequent trips to A&E, but their worst nightmare hasn’t even begun.

Damn, this is fiendishly good! Vulnerabilities are exploited and hope is crushed as meticulous planning is rewarded with success, and all because a curator of a macabre private collection is obsessed with expanding his inexplicable legacy. But his own desire to enhance his life’s work will inevitably cost others their lives, others who you get to know in a dreadful waiting game, as an ordinary man with a select dress sense stalks the hosts who are of specific interest to him.

I must commend the author for portraying such salivating professionalism during his labours. He’s a wicked operator able to merge with the hordes, unseen, unchecked, unwavering. Once his ‘suit’ is on its hanger he switches persona to become a simple man with an ironic responsibility.

The story is told during the period of a little over a week. The days in which devastating crimes are committed have time stamps indicating the stage of the investigation and how it’s progressing, offering a fly on the wall  perspective as to who’s bearing up under the weight of their tremendous private anxieties: the Erdman’s, the Foyle’s, the Rodriguez’s, the Fitzroy’s and, of course, the Collector himself.

The situations the individuals find themselves in are perfectly perceptive and their existing domestics serve as fuel the already roaring fire. It’s emotionally crushing in just the right places before sweeping you along in a blaze of dazzlingly sharp dialogue. With its detestable villain, relatable detective and a common link that will bind the victims’ anguish for all eternity, the suspense in Rattle is so fierce it’s a physical wrench to put the book down – and believe me, you won’t want to.


Rating:          5/5

(I received a copy of this title courtesy of the publisherFrancesca Pearce – and the author with my thanks, and this is my unbiased review.)




(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

A serial killer to chill your bones.

A psychopath more frightening than Hannibal Lecter.

He has planned well. He leads two lives. In one he’s just like anyone else. But in the other he is the caretaker of his family’s macabre museum.

Now the time has come to add to his collection. He is ready to feed his obsession, and he is on the hunt.

Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle have something in common. They have what he needs.

What begins is a terrifying cat-and-mouse game between the sinister collector, Jakey’s father and Etta Fitzroy, a troubled detective investigating a spate of abductions.

Set in London’s Blackheath, Rattle by Fiona Cummins explores the seam of darkness that runs through us all; the struggle between light and shadow, redemption and revenge.

It is a glimpse into the mind of a sinister psychopath. And it’s also a story about not giving up hope when it seems that all hope is already lost.



(Courtesy of publisher’s ARC)

Fiona Cummins is an award-winning former Daily Mirror show business journalist and a graduate of the Faber Academy Writing A Novel course. She lives in Essex with her family. Rattle is her first novel.


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