Monday 14 June 2021

BLOG TOUR: The Colours of Death - Patricia Marques

In the Gare do Oriente, a body sits, slumped, in a stationary train. A high-profile man appears to have died by throwing himself repeatedly against the glass. But according to witnesses, he may not have done this of his own accord.

Lisbon 2021. A small percentage of the population are diagnosed as Gifted. Along with the power comes stigma and suspicion.

In a prejudiced city, Gifted Inspector Isabel Reis is hiding her own secrets while putting her life on the line to stop an ingenious killer.

A violent and mysterious crime. Suspected Gifted involvement. A city baying for blood. And a killer who has only just begun . . .

What did I think?

It's not often I remark on the cover of a book but the book jacket of The Colours of Death is completely mesmerising.  I was very intrigued by the premise of this book, with a foot in both the crime and fantasy genres it's very different from more traditional crime novels that I'm used to reading.  I have to say that I was drawn to it because of the 'Gifted' element as I love the (early) X-Men movies but The Colours of Death is much more believable than the future depicted in the movies.

The Gifted in Lisbon 2021 are either telepathic or telekinetic so it's no wonder that the regular population view them with suspicion and distrust.  I'm not sure what's worse, the thought of someone being inside my mind or someone being able to move me at will.  For the Gifted, like Inspector Isabel Reis, being able to hear people's thoughts must be worse as there must be constant chatter in your head and you'd hear hurtful things that people think about you.  It's no wonder that Isabel takes a drug to dampen down her abilities. 

Being Gifted certainly has its uses when interviewing witnesses following the strange death of a man on a train.  With their permission, Isabel is able to see people's memories and get a much more reliable account of what they saw.  So that she doesn't misuse her ability, Isabel is partnered with a Regular in the form of Aleks Voronov but she isn't able to fully trust Voronov due to his history.

As much as I enjoyed the crime and the fantasy elements, the evolution of Reis and Voronov's relationship had me completely enthralled.  I liked Isabel immediately and I suspected there was more to Aleks' story than first met the eye, but I can understand why Isabel was wary of him at first.  The creation of such amazing characters really drew me into the story and I do hope that this is the first of many Reis and Voronov novels.

Unusual, intriguing and highly original, The Colours of Death is a wonderful debut from Patricia Marques.  It's an incredibly well-written and intelligent cross-genre novel.

Many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for sending me a beautiful hardback ARC to read and review for the blog tour; all opinions are my own.

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About the author:

Half-Angolan and half-Portuguese, Patricia was born in Portugal but moved to England when she was eight. As well as an MA in Creative Writing from City University, she holds a BA in Creative Writing from Roehampton. She lives in London and The Colours of Death is her first novel.

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