Cover Image: Blood Games

Blood Games

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Member Reviews

My first foray into the novels of Liz Mistry and it won't be my last.
Excellent, well thought out police procedural thriller which managed to carry off some gruesome and often brave plot lines beautifully.
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Unfortunately (for me) I just could not for the life of me get onto this at all. This was a new author for me so it might be down to the fact that this is the fourth book in the series.

The blurb and other reviews had me excited to give this ago, who doesn't love getting into a new series? Sadly it just wasnt for me.

The writing style I personally struggled with.. all the IG and text language just put me off in all honesty.. maybe I'm now just getting too old.

I persevered until 54% before having to give it and stop reading.

Thanks to netgalley and HQ for the ARC.
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Blood Games							Liz Mistry

5 stars	

Why have I just discovered this series? 

Blood Games is the 4th book in this series but I had no problems reading it as a stand-alone. Obviously the characters may have been more rounded if I had had read the previous books and I am intending to do that as soon as possible. However I felt like I knew and understood the character of DS Nikita Parekh within a few chapters and that I had an adequate knowledge of her previous history.

We are told that the previous book in the series ended with her mother’s murder and that her paedophile father is harassing her from prison threatening to ‘get’ her. Nikki has had extensive counselling sessions from her flamboyant counsellor, Dr Helen Mallory and feels ready to get back to her work. 

Three local teenagers, all of Asian descent, have been murdered with machetes. Nikki attends the murder scene of the third victim and mistakes him for her nephew, Habib. Overcome by grief she throws herself on the body thereby contaminating the crime scene and causing her to be suspended.

In a way this helps Nikki as she is able to investigate by using her friendship with her local community rather than as a police detective. Nikki has a supportive partner, three children and many friends amongst her community as well as a strong rapport with her detective partner DC Sajed Malik.

The story is set in Bradford and the author is a master at explaining the way a multi-cultural society deals with racism, honour killings and the social media that the killings produce. Every so often there are excerpts from social media which although graphic are very reflective of the sort of disgraceful content that can be found nowadays.

The main strength of this book, for me, is the way the author is able to draw us into the problems that can happen living in a multi-cultural city. She never tries to force any opinions upon us but is able to explain in an empathetic way the types of situations faced on a day to day basis.

The story is fast moving and involves so many different and interesting characters. I did guess the identity of the mastermind behind the killings about three quarters of the way through but that only made me more determined to discover how this person could be caught. 

I read this book in a few days and absolutely loved it. I am already looking forward to the next book in the series. 

  

 
Karen Deborah
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A good police crime drama. Although part of a series it works well as a stand alone. We follow the main character as she tries to find her way and help a friend after being signed off work. The mental health angle is well covered and I never saw the twist at the end coming.
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Gritty, gripping and completely terrifying, you won’t get much sleep when reading Liz Mistry’s spine-chilling new thriller, Blood Games.

Detective Nikki Parekh and DC Sajid Malik have been called in to investigate the case of a body found at the edge of the Chellow Dene reservoir. Nikki and Sajid are not surprised in the slightest about their latest case; it’s the third murder in the space of a couple of weeks and although each of the murders has had a different MO, the common thread between the three cases is that the victims have all been teenagers. Who is targeting these kids? Is it a random attack? An unfortunate twist of fate? Or is there something far more troubling going on than meets the eye?

This investigation is hitting far too close to home for Nikki. The latest victim was a young boy who reminds her of her nephew and with each passing day, Nikki feels helpless and powerless. Will she be able to find the killer before another life is lost? With everything seeming hopeless, Nikki cannot help but feel discouraged – until a young boy goes missing and his parents receive a threatening package. Is the killer playing games to throw them off the scent? Is this changing pattern a devious ploy by a crazed murderer intent on maximum destruction? Or is this the work of somebody else?

With the pressure piling on, Nikki will be tested like never before. Can she catch the killer before more bodies are found? Or has Nikki finally met her match?

Liz Mistry’s Blood Games scared the living daylights out of me! This fabulous writer of crime fiction knows how to amp up the tension, ratchet up the menace and have readers jumping out of their skin whilst keeping them in the palm of her hand and desperately turning the pages.

A crime thriller you will want to read in a single sitting, Blood Games sees the redoubtable Nikki Parekh being challenged like never before and yet despite all the odds tripping her up, she maintains a cool head in order to solve this case with skill, ingenuity and perceptiveness.

Dark, creepy and gruesome, Liz Mistry’s Blood Games is a top-notch crime thriller I couldn’t read fast enough.
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This is my first book from this author even though this book is part of a series. Even though it does not detract from the enjoyment of the book, I will now order the previous books in the series and read it properly in order as the main character development is really worth it.  Indeed, the main character DI Nikki Parekh is a really interesting strong protagonist and I want to know more about her and the circumstances of her breakdown.
 
I am delighted I got the opportunity to discover that author and will now be avidly following her books. 
I am a sucker for British police procedurals and this series does not disappoint!
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I loved this book! I didn't actually realise until I was part way through that it is actually part of a series, however don't worry you don't need to have read the others first (I am however going to go back and read them). A brilliantly written book with an emotive storyline that was portrayed brilliantly with different themes blending throughout the book, It kept you guessing and it's also left me wanting more - I can't wait to read the next instalment.
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This is the 4th book in the series, I haven't read the first 3 but I still really enjoyed this. I think reading them in order would be better, just to get a better understanding of the background of the characters. But it isn't essential.
It is about machete murders that start happening in the Bradford area and there are no leads or connections to the murders that they can see, the story is complex and keeps you guessing about what is actually happening.
It was thoroughly enjoyable and I would definitely read more from the series.
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Would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery that keeps you guessing till the end.

Thank you to Liz Mistry, NetGalley and HQ for the arc of this book.
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This is the first book that I have read by Liz Mistry, and I will be going back to read her other books.

Great story telling and a page turner with the events going on and wanting to know who did it.
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My first book, that I have read by this author, absolutely brilliant! Highly recommended, and I will definitely read others written by this author!
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Nikki is a detective. Unfortunately for her she has a very public breakdown. Unable to assist in the investigation into the recent machete killings she is at least able to help her partner with advice whilst she watched from the sidelines. It all becomes very personal involving her family. Luckily with the support of a therapist she is able to return to work, to try to solve the murders. 
A book I found hard to get into but it sped up as it progressed.
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I almost gave up on this early on when Parekh was cracking up early on but I'm glad I didn't. I really like this group of characters, but it's hard to see where it can go next. Somewhat unbelievable in places but a real page turner.
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After a series of machete attacks leave a number of people dead , D.I. Nikki Parekh returns to work after a breakdown. She is under the care of a psychotherapist , Dr. Mallory , who is not convinced she is ready so soon. The few clues they have point to the fact that these are possibly "honour" killings for various reasons but all family members of the victims have solid alibis. Schoolchildren are being paid to keep an eye on people who may be going against traditional customs (The Eyes) . After the son of Nikki's friend Ali goes missing Ali gets involved and rescues his son . Everything leads to someone called "The Fixer" who is contacted on the dark web and arranges the murders . Can Nikki and her partner Saj find out who the Fixer is before any further killings take place? A well written exciting story set in Bradford .
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This is book number 4 featuring DS Nikki Parekh and the first that I have read.  Set in Bradford the main character is a strong female lead (similar but different to the brilliant Kim Stone created by Angela Marsons) and there is a lot going on.  I was able to read and enjoy as a standalone but feel that having read the other 3 (Last Request, Broken Silence and Dark Memories) I would have got more satisfaction out of this.

A few of the ingredients that make up this book (list is not complete) - machete killings, racism, kidnapping, the dark web, an unknown criminal mastermind, misogyny, homophobia, ruthless political ambition, contract killings, honour crimes, a breakdown of the main character and a cast of many, many characters.  No one can accuse this book of being shallow and at times there was almost too much going on.  The story ends with a clear indication that there is much more to come from Mistry and her creation DS Parekh

Overall I enjoyed this and would give the story 3.5 out of 5 (rounded up to 4).

Would I read something by this author again - probably.

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an impartial review.
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To say Blood Games is a gritty, hard-hitting crime thriller would probably be a bit of an understatement. This is an intense, turbo-charged shocker of a story and no mistake.
Grabs your attention from the very beginning and does not relinquish its hold right through till the very end. But be warned, there is some very colourful content within the narrative that is not for the faint-hearted.
The book deals with such issues as racism, honour killings, mental health issues, and teenage angst. The additional insights the weaves into sub-plots make for interesting reading.
Nikki Parekh as a character was top-notch. Unbelievably realistic, with all the stress and anxieties she was carrying yet digs deep to persevere. You cannot help but like and feel for her, as she gets to grip with not only herself but also the case. 
And in the best tradition of police procedural novels, it all culminates in a thrilling and satisfying conclusion.
Thoroughly enjoyed Blood Games, and I can totally recommend it.
Thank you, NetGalley and HQ, HQ Digital, for the ARC.
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My thanks to NetGalley and publisher HQ for the electronic copy.

This is Book#4 in the series and I hadn't read the previous ones.  Although it is readable as a standalone I think reading in sequence would give a better understanding of the main characters' backgrounds.

Set around Bradford where a spate of machete attacks are taking place, initially targeting Asian youths; DS Nikki Parekh and DC Sajid Malik are called to the edge of a reservoir where the mutilated body of a young Asian man has been discovered.  Nikki's mental health is unstable since the death of her mother a few weeks previously and she mistakenly thinks the body is that of her Nephew.  She's sent home on sick leave; DI Zain Ahad is drafted in to take over, and Sajid keeps Nikki informed of their progress.
Another body is found and this time it is a white youth; then another Asian youth goes missing.  Community officers try to get the youth of the area to talk, but they won't.  Only when Nikki's Nephew starts to open up it seems there is something going on in the surrounding schools - all to do with inter-racial relationships.  However, all the victims appear to have nothing to link them and, unusually, their family members all have rock solid alibis.
What exactly is going on?

This is a contemporary storyline, with a major twist.  However, I did find it rather hard-going - there are just so many characters to get to grips with - sisters, brothers, cousins and uncles, It was a bit overwhelming.
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I've not read any books by Liz Mistry before and was not aware that this was the fourth in a series but was happy to find, apart from a few references to previous events, that it works well as a stand alone. The story is intense and involves some strong cultural and racial issues. 
It starts as DS Nikki Parekh and DC Sajid Malik at a crime scene - the latest in a series of a machete attacks on Asian youths. Parekh, who has mental health issues (this is held over from previous books) believe the victim to be her nephew and contaminates the crime scene resulting in her being put on sick leave.
A new detective arrives at the station to help the work load while Nikki is off. Sajid does not much take to him and keeps Nikki in touch with what is going on. Nikki is in therapy with Dr Mallory, as required by the police before she can return to duty. 
Meanwhile an old friend, Ali Khan's son, Maz, is abducted and his ears is sent to his parents. Ali asks Nikki for help, which she gives, along side the official police enquiry. As she and Sajid find out more about what has been happening in their city it becomes clear that the young people in the town are living in fear as someone is enforcing extremist rules upon communities and terrorising them into submission. 
The story is told mainly from Nikki's view point, although we do have insights into the actions of The Fixer, the overall player in this, who is pulling the strings and deciding who will live and who will die. The intentions and purposes of the players are well investigated and meaningful and the characters of Nikki and Sajid are well drawn, both of them coming across as very human and very real, and touched by the same concerns and anxieties as everyone else. 
Some of the issues dealt with are very real and the interaction between different cultures is well handled. It all makes an excellent crime read, but probably best is the way Liz Mistry handles the pace of the book, revealing just enough to keep the reader continuously guessing throughout. 
Very enjoyable and I will happily look for more books by this author. With many thanks to Netgalley and HQ Stories for a chance to read an arc.
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A powerful storyline.  This is the fourth Nikki Parekh mystery and once again Liz Mistry has written a brilliant, multi layered book which covers the main investigation and so much more in a shocking and thrilling way. Through the main protagonists however, there is also a caring and hopeful response to the victims and those unintentionally caught up in this compelling storyline.
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It's the second book I read by this author and I love it as much as I loved the previous one.
A twisty, gripping, and compelling plot that kept me hooked and on the edge.
Good character development, a solid plot that surprised me till the end.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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