'The Butcher of Belle Vue' has struck again. Like the first two victims, the third has been partially skinned and dumped on waste ground: muscles, tendons and ligaments exposed to view. Only this time, her face has also been removed.
Jon Spicer and his new partner, Rick Saville, are approached by a woman who insists she heard 'The Butcher' claiming his latest victim in the next-door room of a run-down hotel in Belle Vue. But all she has to back up her story is an escort’s business card recovered from the empty room the following morning.
Jon's investigation takes him into the twilight world of Manchester's sex workers and the unscrupulous cosmetic surgery industry, eventually forcing him to confront the potential for violence within every man – including himself.
‘We are dragged into the seedy world of prostitution, domestic violence and cut-cost cosmetic surgery, and just when you think you may have guessed the outcome, Simms finishes with a burst of pace and an illuminating twist. A highly entertaining read.’ (COVENTRY EVENING TELEGRAPH)
‘Shifting Skin has all the ingredients – blood, excitement, speed, mystery and realistic, likeable characters.’ (PETERBOROUGH EVENING TELEGRAPH)
‘Dark and genuinely frightening, Shifting Skin had me burning the midnight oil in order to get to the end. An excellent read.’ (SHOTS MAGAZINE)
About the author
Along with nominations for the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year award and Crime Writer’s Association Dagger awards (for his novels and short stories), Chris Simms was selected by Britain’s national book chain, Waterstones, as one of their ‘25 Authors For The Future’.
An all-too-familiar serial-killer plot drives British author Simms's underwhelming second police procedural to feature Det. Insp. Jon Spicer (after Killing the Beasts). The "Butcher of Belle Vue" takes his name from the Manchester neighborhood where he dumps his female victims' flayed corpses. Spicer, who's on tenterhooks with his boss, Detective Chief Inspector McCloughlin, after his maverick efforts to catch the Chewing Gum Killer in Killing the Beasts, suspects that his new partner, Rick Saville, may be a plant to get the goods on him. That concern doesn't prevent Spicer from bending the rules as he sees fit, like obtaining an unauthorized DNA sample from a suspect. Not many readers will be shocked at the revelation of the Butcher's true identity. A competent writer, Simms needs to imbue his books with more depth and imagination if he's to stand out in the crowded serial killer subgenre.