‘Hogan plunges us into the world and mind of her psychopathic killer from the first line and relentlessly tightens the tension until the very last page.’ (Cover Quote)
There Was A Crooked Man is the follow up book from Irish Writer Cat Hogan, following on from her debut novel, They All Fall Down.
Scott Carluccio Randall, a twisted unhinged individual, is back to clean up some unfinished business. Described as ‘a powerful thriller‘, Cat Hogan’s second novel is much darker than her first. There is a great level of detail in the descriptions of place and character taking the reader on a journey through the Souks and back streets of Marrakech to Berlin and Ireland.
Just published by Poolbeg Crimson, I received my copy in return for my unbiased and voluntary review.
Read on for my thoughts…
Scott makes enemies everywhere. Powerful people want him dead. He’s coming back to Ireland to finish what he started. But first, he must make it out of Marrakech alive.
Jen knows Scott will come back. Every day, she waits. He almost killed her last time and, fuelled by hate and arrogance, he’s not a man to ever just move on. He will kill her and he will kill her young son. But her husband and friends believe she has spiralled into paranoia.
So she knows, when he returns, she’ll face the psychopath alone.
Ooooh Cat Hogan you have got quite a nasty streak in you!! Where did you conjure up this madness?
‘I punched him in the stomach, with enough force for him to drop to his knees but not as hard as I would have liked. The cigarette rolled across the floor into a pool of vomit. The syringe lay on the rug and the rest of the paraphernalia was scattered across the locker. This snivelling wreck was beginning to cause me real problems.’
For anyone who has read They All Fall Down, you will be familiar with the psychotic nature of Scott Carluccio Randall, a Dublin society boy with serious issues. If this is your first time picking up a Cat Hogan book, never fear, Cat provides plenty of background information as the book progresses, which enlightens the reader to past events.
Scott Carluccio Randall left Ireland under extremely suspicious circumstances. In There Was A Crooked Man, we find Scott now living in Marrakech. He’s involved in the underworld of drugs and crime, running different businesses to finance his rather expensive lifestyle. Scott comes from an extremely wealthy family in Dublin. With his father dead, his mother Livia is the matriarch of the family. Originally from Italy, Livia is quite a cold fish and the relationship between herself and Scott was never one of affection. Her portrayal by Cat Hogan is exceptionally vivid. She is a hard tough woman with no warmth whatsoever.
‘She was a terrible mother and all my success was purely down to my own brilliance and survival instinct. I was lucky – I was strong and intelligent. Not many would have survived her insanity’
There Was A Crooked Man takes the reader through the crowded streets and back alleyways of Marrakech. All my senses were evoked as Cat Hogan writes so expressively of the crowds, the smells, the heat…
‘The souks were as easy to identify by smell as they were by sight. The chant of the woodturners selling their wares was constant. The smell of the cedarwood hung heavy in the air. By now the woollen djellaba was stuck to my back with sweat, as we swarm, with our cargo, against a sea of bodies. We arrived at Kissaria Square. It was noisy, hot, sticky, smelly, and overrun with tourists. Even under the circumstances, the assault on the senses never failed to amuse and amaze me. Here was a riot of sound and explosions of colour from clothing and fabric.’ (Read more from this particular extract HERE )
Scott finds himself the target of some very undesirable folk. His attitude and general demeanor rubs up everyone he meets the wrong way, but the difference this time is the Moroccans don’t tolerate such behaviour. Scott has gone one step too far. He makes a decision to go back home, back to Ireland, back to where it all began.
Meanwhile Jen wakes up every morning looking out over the Irish Sea with terror in her heart. She is biding her time, waiting for the day Scott will return. He invades her every moment. Her life is no longer her own as she knows Scott will be back. He has unfinished business with her and he left making his intentions quite clear. Jen is in his way.
Jen has never been able to settle into her new life with Andy. He is a truly wonderful person and has taken as his own her son, Danny, from a previous marriage. But Andy is struggling to deal with Jen’s ghosts and is attempting to move on. Their relationship is suffering as Jen refuses to accept that Scott will not return.
There is a very authentic feel to the storyline, especially the scenes from Marrakech. Scott Carluccio Randall is a very warped individual. His whole life he has lived according to his own twisted rules…but sometimes others do not wish to play to the same tune.
There Was A Crooked Man has some down-right seedy characters in it’s pages as you get an insight into the murky depths of human depravity. It’s an engrossing read as you race to the finish with heart palpitations and sore fingers, as you swiftly turn each page to see if Scott will finally succeed. Will he finish what he started or will Jen find a way to save her family and those she loves?
Well…you know what you have to do and here’s the link to make it easier for you!!
Purchase Link ~ There Was A Crooked Man
Cat Hogan was born into a home of bookworms and within spitting distance of the sea. Her father, Pat, a lightship man, instilled in her a love of the sea and the stars. Her mother, Mag, taught her how to read before she could walk.
Writing, storytelling and a wild imagination is part of her DNA.
There Was A Crooked Man is Cat’s second novel, following on from her debut They All Fall Down.
Twitter ~ @Kittycathogan