“A psychopath more frightening than Hannibal Lecter.
He has planned well. He leads two lives. In one he’s just like anyone else. But in the other he is the caretaker of his family’s macabre museum.
Now the time has come to add to his collection. He is ready to feed his obsession, and he is on the hunt.
Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle have something in common. They have what he needs.
What begins is a terrifying cat-and-mouse game between the sinister collector, Jakey’s father and Etta Fitzroy, a troubled detective investigating a spate of abductions.
Set in London’s Blackheath, Rattle by Fiona Cummins explores the seam of darkness that runs through us all; the struggle between light and shadow, redemption and revenge.
It is a glimpse into the mind of a sinister psychopath. And it’s also a story about not giving up hope when it seems that all hope is already lost.”
I always love a good serial killer novel, especially when the antagonist is likened to Hannibal Lecter, so I was very excited when I picked up Rattle. He’s not quite Hannibal, but this book does have a highly memorable killer, known as The Bone Collector. A depraved introvert with a penchant for collecting abnormal skeletons, and he is on the hunt for new exhibits to display in his secret, ghoulish museum. It is a job that has been passed down to him from his father, his grandfather before him, for centuries down the bloodline, and it is a role he cherishes.
Detective Etta Fitzroy is the cop assigned to the case when two children with rare bone deformities go missing. She is sure there is a link between the disappearances and an older unsolved case of hers, a girl who went to ballet class and never returned. All that was found of her were her toes. Can Fitzroy track down this hideous monster before the lives of another two families are torn apart?
This is quite an upseting read in places as it involves children, but not just any children, children with conditions that make them even more vulnerable, who should be taken extra special care of. I was able to empathise with the parents of the missing children who had not only lost their babies, but were now losing their marriages due to the strain put on the couples.
The plot unravelled well, and was well written, especially for a debut author although I did find it slow in parts and would have liked it to be a bit more exciting or eventful. This book does suck you right in, it appealed to my dark and morbid side leaving me hungry to hear more about The Bone Collector and his ghastly hobby. His role as carer for his wife, and complete lack of empathy made my blood run cold and sent a shiver down my spine. In a way I found that more unsettling than the kidnapping of the children.
The author has done a fantastic job of researching the disease Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, which one of the missing children suffers from. Better known as “stone man syndrome” it causes muscle to turn into bone, locking limbs in place, and is often fatal. This is not something I had heard of prior to reading Rattle, and kudos to Fiona who has depicted the condition in such a sensitive manner.
This is a great debut novel and Fiona Cummins has laid the groundwork for some brilliantly disturbing work to come. Overall rating four stars and definitely worth a read.