Skin and Blister is the third instalment in solicitor Victoria Blake’s detective thrillers based around Private Investigator Sam Falconer. In this, when a student is found dead in his rooms at St Barnabas College, Oxford, it looks like nothing more than an unfortunate suicide. A week later, when Sam's brother disappears, she finally begins to put two and two together and recognises the disturbing connection between the events. Then her mother receives a Catholic mass card, announcing that a funeral mass is to be said for her son. Sam embarks on a race against time from Oxford to Iraq and back to the troubles in Ireland, in an attempt to save her brother. A course not aided by the revelation that her father a former SAS officer had killed forty republicans in the province and someone is out for retribution.

Whilst the story is entertaining and enjoyable, it is unfortunately somewhat predictable. The plot will not strain your intellect too much over festive period. The characters are rather one dimensional and predictable. As such you fail to find that much affinity with the leading character; but that said its easy going and quite engaging.

Skin and Blister by Victoria Blake Orion - Price £18.99 -  ISBN: 0752874594