• Shaun Baines

Candles and Roses by Alex Walters

Updated: Mar 15, 2019


Best of Crime Book Reviews

On this blog, I'll be posting my thoughts on the books I read. Nothing new there, you might think, but at the end of the review, I'll let you know which book is next. I hope you pick up a copy and read along with me. Post your comments and tell me your thoughts. It would be lovely if you post your reviews on Amazon, too. It really helps the authors to keep writing the books you enjoy.


Just to be clear, I'm not coming to your house to read you a bedtime story. You wouldn't want that. I wouldn't want that.



In Candles and Roses, we follow DI McKay on the hunt for a disturbed serial killer.


McKay is a complicated character, his brooding traits explained by a tragic history. You can't help but be drawn to his dour sense of humour and his devotion to a thankless role of a policeman. I also liked his relationship to his superior officer and how he treated his subordinates.


Candles and Roses is set in the Scottish Highlands and there is a tremendous sense of location. I could almost feel the rain hitting my face. The weather and the rugged landscape is further insight into McKay's character.


As a police procedural, Candles and Roses has an authentic feel, putting an emphasis on dogged police work. For other books in this genre, the pace often suffers as a result. However, here it's lively, despite a slight dip in the middle and the second half of the book goes at break neck speed.


McKay is the central character, but the book is an ensemble piece with police officers, witnesses, suspects and amateur sleuths all being drawn into the action. As such, you need a keen mind to keep track of all the characters. Each character comes with their own backstory. Some are fleshed out. Some merely hinted at, perhaps to be explored in the rest of the series. Either way, they're fully rounded individuals.


As we reach the climax, the ending is not as clear cut as you might think. That's true of most thrillers, but this ending was good. I mean, really good. Brave, too, but you'll have to read it to know what I mean.


Candles and Roses was published by Bloodhound Books and is part of a series available from Amazon.


For anyone wishing to join in on the next Best of Crime Book Reviews, I'll be reading The Girl On The Bus by N.M. Brown. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

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