Title: The Colours of Death
Author: Patricia Marques
Release Date: 17/6/2021
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 52
(see below for breakdown)
I received a free eARC copy from Hodder and Saughton ,via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
In an alternative present-day Lisbon, a small percentage of the population have been diagnosed as Gifted – having telepathic or telekinetic powers. Along with the power comes a stigma and suspicion that Gifted Inspector Isabel Reis with the Lisbon Police Force knows only too well.
When Isabel is called to investigate a mysterious and violent death which hints at Gifted involvement, she knows it’s more than just her personal reputation on the line. In a society where Gifted individuals are already viewed with mistrust, Isabel is hiding her own secret and knows she has to tread carefully as a conspiracy emerges and the body count rises.
This was such an interesting read. I was really in the mood for a good police procedural (due to binge watching Criminal minds) and this was the perfect book. It is a really nice mix of police investigation and small sci-fi elements to give it a unique and complex storyline. It is also set in Lisbon, Portugal. This was also interesting or me personally as I don’t think I have read a book set in the city and it was really fun to get an insight into the city and its people.
While this mystery itself was a little predictable the way that the plot worked its way to the various conclusions are really entertaining. There is a real methodical order to the investigation allowing us to really focus on the characters an there lives. Isabel herself is gifted and we really get to explore her life and how her gifts have effected it. We get flashbacks to her childhood when her gifts were assessed and catalogued and how they affected her relationships with her family, friends and loved ones throughout her life. We also explore the political landscape and how that effects Isabel doing her job. All of this makes Isabel a really detailed and complex character that I really liked reading about. She is good at her job, but struggles coping with her gift. This gave Isabel a noir detective style feel, exchanging the stereotypical alcohol crutch with the problems with her gift and its control.
For me the interesting worldbuilding, the complex characters, the weaving mystery and even the detail of the investigation all comes together to a fantastically well written and well structured debut. I found it such an absorbing read that I just wanted to keep reading, learning about Isabel, figuring out the mystery. Its a great crime fiction novel and has a fantastic sci-fi edge that would be a good start for people wanting to get into the genre.