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Kat's Review of Painted Skins by Matt Hilton (Grey & Po #2)

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Synopsis: PI Tess Grey and her partner Nicolas Po Villere have been hired by Margaret Norris to find her granddaughter, Jasmine Reed, who has been missing for sixteen days. But if Tess is to have any chance of finding Jazz, she needs to know the truth about the young woman s troubled past. What is it that Margaret Norris isn't telling her?

Tess and Po aren't the only ones looking for Jazz. With shady local businessman Daryl Bruin and his henchman John Trojak also on her trail, as well as a mysterious and violent stranger, Tess prays, for Jasmine s sake, that she and Po find her first. But it s only when Tess uncovers a link to several other missing girls that she begins to make headway in the investigation and finds herself in a desperate race against time to track down Jazz before it's too late

Kat's Rating: 5/5

Kat's Review: I'm thrilled that I bumped this book up my to read list as it was much better than I expected. I LOVE it when a book surprises me like this. I read the first in this new series and although I enjoyed it, I thought it was a little slow and I struggled to connect with the lead character Tess Grey. Following on with this book, clearly I was walking through sludge with the last book as with this book I fell in love with Tess and her ex-con Partner Po.

In book one (Blood Tracks) I can now see that this was meant as an extremely good base for getting to know these characters. With this book there is no need for that as the readers have already seen Tess reasons for making her way as a Private Investigator instead of a cop. Although book one is an excellent base, I guess this book can be read as a standalone, but I always feel like its best to start a series at the beginning. In this latest instalment, Tess and Po have been hired to find the granddaughter of Margaret Norris. Jazz has been missing just over 2 weeks so Tess and Po get started on trying to trace her.

It becomes apparent pretty quickly that Jazz is also being searched for by Daryl Bruin and his henchman John Trojak, Tess and Po want to know why and the story really starts to pick up pace. It becomes clear pretty quickly that there is a lot more to Jazz being missing than a simple runaway scenario. The book has a great hold over the reader and with each chapter it seems to gain momentum, tension and pace. When their old friend Pinky appeared I rejoiced as he was such a brilliant character in the first book I was hoping he would make an appearance in the second.

This book was everything a great thriller should be and I thoroughly enjoyed every single page. I can imagine this would make a GREAT film, although quite who would play these characters who knows. What I will say is that although the Joe Hunter series of books by Matt Hilton is hugely popular, this new series seems to have fallen short and I cannot work out why. This is an absolutely amazing book and a series that I will continue to read. Hugely enjoyable and massively under rated, if you haven't tried Matt Hilton before then these books are a great place to start!

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