The Teacher by Katerina Diamond

Title - The Teacher
Author - Katerina Diamond
Publication Date - March 10th 2016
Publisher - Avon
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via publisher)
Pages - 400

A lesson you will never forget...

As Exeter suffers a rising count of gruesome deaths, troubled DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles must solve the case and make their city safe again.

But as they're drawn into a network of corruption, lies and exploitation, every step brings them closer to grim secrets hidden at the heart of their community.

And once they learn what's motivating this killer, will they truly want to stop him?

When Avon announced the impending arrival of The Teacher by Katerina Diamond I couldn't wait to get my hands on what sounded like a dark and dangerous novel that would lead me down eerie alleyways and round in circles as DS Grey and DS Miles tried to crack the case as the victims slumped down one by one. The cover reminded me of old-school horror, and the blurb piqued my interest immediately. Once I saw that it was available on NetGalley, I couldn't click 'request' quick enough.

I will admit that it took me some time to get into this novel. Despite the gruesome beginning pretty much as soon as this book began, as the chapters passed by, I couldn't quite get a handle on the characters being presented to me. Not being granted that much time with each of them (although to be fair, perhaps that was for the best considering their pasts), meant that before I'd figured out who was who, and how each of them were related to each other, they'd been killed. For me personally, I love to get to know a character as much as possible although as the novel progressed, I realised that Katerina had chosen to tell The Teacher in such a way and, actually, once I'd managed to put the pieces of this cryptic puzzle together, it made sense for the author to do so. In fact, it was effective in the way that it was sharp, punchy and instant. The plot moved along rapidly and once I'd got past a certain point, I flew through the remainder of the novel, gasping for breath once I'd reached the spinning end.

It's true what Avon say. The Teacher by Katerina Diamond is not for the faint-hearted. In fact, it could possibly be the most graphic novel I've read (but that's not hard really, considering I'm mostly a romance reader). The author's descriptions were enough to send my stomach turning, so vivid and real were they, and when I say 'graphic', I'm referring to the removal of organs, lots and lots of blood, vomit-inducing situations and menacing circumstances. To be quite honest, the whole back-story of this novel wouldn't sit comfortable with a lot of readers but the unravelling of it, and the vengeance that takes place alongside that, worked seamlessly. Dark atmospheres and dangerous characters made this all the more frightening to read and had my heart racing in my chest as the clues and the mystery began to slot together in my mind.

I absolutely loved DS Grey and DS Miles. They worked fantastically together despite the differences between them and the fact that they didn't particularly want to be paired up. The relationship between them had its ups and downs, but side by side they slipped between the cracks and picked up the slack on the gruesome case unfolding in front of them. The murders became worse as the number of corpses rose and, I felt, it became more impossible to put down as the pages whipped by. I was hooked, desperate to figure everything out and couldn't wait for the moment when the big reveal would come about. Katerina doesn't hold back but I felt this only added to the punch of her debut with Avon. It stands out a mile with it's poisonous cover and the story within refused to let go of me.

All in all, The Teacher by Katerina Diamond left me feeling as if I'd just ran a marathon. As I mentioned at the beginning of my review, it took a few chapters for me to get to grips with the characters but once I had got to grips with them, I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed the mystery handed to me by the author. Her leading characters were brilliantly crafted and I do hope I'll be seeing more of them both in future novels by Katerina! As a starting point for me with this author, it has left me excited to see what Katerina Diamond comes up with for her readers next.

On that note, Becca's Books is awarding The Teacher by Katerina Diamond with four of my bookish stars! Grizzly, gruesome and shocking, it really was a roller-coaster of a read.

Special thanks to Avon Books and Katerina Diamond for providing me with a review copy of The Teacher in exchange for a fair and honest review.


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