First paragraph from the killer:
You always remember the first time. Isn't that what they say about sex? How Much more true of murder. I will never forget a single delicious moment of that strange and exotic drama. Even though now, with the benefit of hindsight, I can see it was an amateurish performance, it still has the power to thrill, though not any longer to satisfy.
First paragraph from the story:
Tony Hill tucked his hands behind his head and stared up at the ceiling. There was a fine web of cracks around the elaborate plaster rose which surrounded the light fitting, but he was oblivious to it. The faint light of dawn tinged with the orange of sodium streetlamps filtered in through a triangular gap at the top of his curtains, but he had no interest in that either. Subconsciously, he registered the central-heating boiler kick in, readying itself to take the edge of the damp winter chill that seeped in round door and window frames. His nose was cold, his eyes gritty. He couldn't remember the last time he'd had a straight night's sleep. His concerns about what he had to get through that day was part of the reason for the night's interrupted dreams, but there was more than that. Much more.
Tony Hill is the main character in The Mermaids Singing, the first of a series featuring Tony Hill and his female counterpart, Carol Jordan. The book series became a television series named Wire in the Blood after the second book, The Wire in the Blood. The book is as interesting and more gruesome than the television series.
The action is set in Bradford in the middle of England. The police are baffled by what seems like gay related murders but the victims are not openly gay. The violence and other peculiarities are more important than the gender of the victims or their preferences. See if you can work out the weird motives before the final chapter.
The Mermaids Singing is probably too weird for the American market where everything has to be clear cut. Tony Hill is not clear cut. You will not know when he is going to switch over to the other side. The killer is weird. Most of the other characters are clear cut including a few who might be the killer.
I do not know if I can stand Tony Hill for the full five books of the series but I am definitely going to read the next book in the series, The Wire in the Blood.
Read the book. Read the first three books in the series then watch the television series. If you have a weak stomach, skip the parts in italics when the killer describes the process of killing.