Vows to Kill by Mark Capell – a review

My most recent read (again on a train, this time to spend a lovely couple of days being Christamassy in London) was Vows to Kill by Mark Capell. He is a new author to me and this was Mark’s second full length novel, which he kindly sent me an e-copy of.

The basic premise of the book is that Lee is a detective who receives an email saying ‘I will kill you on your wedding day’ Understandably he wants to track down the sender of the email and make sure that his wife-to-be doesn’t find out what is going on.

Now ignoring the ridiculous notion that a couple would get married within six months of meeting (although of course novel three could be based around the divorce!) and the fact that half the characters seemed to be able to take weeks off work to organise the worlds smallest wedding. I really liked this novel. One line states ‘what’s past is prologue’ and that almost sums up the story within this book. People can bare grudges for a long time, and doing so makes them bitter and frankly pretty tragic.

The whole story is based during the 6 week lead up to the wedding and Lee’s race to uncover who wants him dead before he ends up having to call the event off. Obviously the first place to look is in his past, and like any good crime protagonist, he has to confront a secret he’s been trying to hide.

Its virtually impossible to review this book without giving the game away. The cast of characters that are created are very cleverly interwoven. The story goes back and forth gradually uncovering more of the characters lives and their reasons for possibly wanting to kill Lee. This gradual uncovering seemed to be quite an organic process, and unlike some novels I didn’t feel that scenes were being forced into the story unnecessarily just to include some back ground information.

One of the things I liked about this book was that at no point did I guess the outcome. At one stage, I don’t think its spoiling anything to say I even thought it was the brother! The ending itself was a little bit of a disappointment as it seemed a little bit too neat, but if it had been any other way then I’d no doubt be complaining that it hadn’t been wrapped up neatly enough.

This book was very enjoyable, and the writing style was nice and concise which worked well. I think Vows to Kill would make a great 2 part ITV drama!

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