The third in the Rina Walker series and the follow up to the excellent Threat (read my review HERE), Malice is every bit as thrilling and exciting as the previous two novels.
As the sixties swing away in the background, Rina finds herself at the centre of a gang turf war and tough cases come her way, sending our favourite hit woman on a whirlwind adventure. Duplicitous to the end, Rina fights as dirty as necessary for those she cares for as she battle against increasingly destructive and manipulative foes. There’s everything from kidnapping to hookers, with Fraser expertly touching on almost every trope thriller writers have ever used without making the text feel too overwhelming.
Like the previous two novels, dialogue is where Fraser both shines and surprises. Anyone who is a fan of his bumbling portrayal of Captain Hastings in TVs Poirot will find it incredible to read the truly spectacular lesson in swearing that makes The Thick of It sound like a nursery rhyme.
Characterisation is also excellent in this series; as well as the fantastically ballsy Rina, there are also a number of characters, both new and reoccurring, whose creepiness, scheming and downright vile natures make them incredibly interesting and who help drive the plot forward.
Fundamentally a solid thriller, Malice is not for the faint hearted; the depictions of violence in this extraordinary novel are both sensational and visceral. If you can handle it then this is the perfect summer showstopper to indulge in, and I would throughly recommend it. It’s not necessary to read the first two novels to understand Malice but if you find yourself light on reading and long on time then both Harm and Threat are worth a read as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Rina on our screens soon; these novels are definitely TV worthy.