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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Review: RATTLE, Fiona Cummins

Rattle, by Fiona Cummins. Reviewed by Barbara Copperthwaite

"A fabulously different detective story"


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.


Rattle is a fabulously different detective story, that I am very much hoping is going to be the start of a series.

At its heart is a serial killer with almost supernatural powers, such is his ability to find his victims and stalk them, then disappear without trace. And yet we are also given a glimpse at his other side, the side the world sees: that of caring husband. That subtle addition to the plot cleverly makes the killer all the more chilling because it makes him more, dare I say it, human.

In fact, even while the pace of the story ratchets up, the reader is given increasingly intimate insights into the family lives of all the characters. It is particularly frightening to see the impact the disappearance of little Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle has. Fear, suspicion, and recriminations starts to make each and every one of them crumble. What is so well captured is the fact that sometimes children can be stronger and more resilient than adults…

The real star of the book is Etta Fitzroy, our troubled detective. I loved her. She is such a strong character, with a lot going on in her personal life. She has a lot more for readers to discover in the future, I’m sure!

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