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A Wash of Black

(DI Erika Piper #1)

4.61  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  24 reviews

Anna Symons. Famous. Talented. Dead.

When the body of a famous actress is found mutilated on an ice rink in Manchester, recreating a scene from a blockbuster film she starred in years ago, DI Erika Piper must find the culprit; the media-dubbed ‘Blood Ice Killer.’

Having recently returned to work after suffering a near-fatal
Kindle Edition, 234 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Red Dog Press (first published February 2020)
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Average rating 4.61  · 
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 ·  36 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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The Coycaterpillar Reads
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Art is subjective. Murder is brutal. The two combined create a heady mix for a psychopathic cocktail. A wash of Black is Chris McDonalds debut and what a poignant and as such is a breeze block straight into the chest. The walk between functioning citizens and sanity is a knife’s edge. I have read so many Crime and Police procedurals lately that it takes something truly remarkable to pull me in – the author caught me by the neck and yanked hard! The prologue was like a defibrillator constantly ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fast paced, seamless subplots, a kick-ass main character along with confident writing made this book a fantastic debut.

Life imitated art. An actress was found murdered gruesomely in a skating rink. DI Erika Piper was called to investigate.

A brilliant debut, the story made my heart gallop as I kept tapping my kindle to make Erika investigate faster. I loved the way the author etched Erika's character. There was a depth to her, strength and vulnerability endeared her to me. After going through a
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I didn’t think there could be room for another Erika in the detective world being a huge fan of the Detective Erika Foster crime series by Robert Bryndza. Well DI Erika Piper showed me that there was more than enough room for the both of them.

The start of the story with a murder scene on an ice rink ensured that the author had my attention. I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel where a crime scene takes place in one, so it piqued my interest straight away.

For a debut novel, I was blown away with
Zoé-lee O'farrell
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
This is a debut book and just wow! What a strong start to Chris’ writing career! I was lucky enough to do a tiny bit of beta reading for Chris with what seems a long time ago but it was only August/September and along with Danielle and Sarah, we have seen this awesome journey he’s having. However, don’t think I will be biased in my review and to be honest, I am not sure I can find the right words either!!!!
Here we meet DI Erika Piper, first day back in the job and she’s gone and caught a doozy
Jacqueline  sharp
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a debut novel from Chris McDonald. If I am being 100% honest it didn’t read like a debut, it read like an accomplished writers novel. I for one am already wanting book number 2.

I pre ordered this back last year 2019, and was so excited when my copy arrived yesterday morning, luckily I didn’t have another book on the go as I was in between books at the time. So decided to give it a go. I was not disappointed.

This is book one in what I think will be a great series, the characters are all
Kelly Van Damme
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reading and reviewing a book written by someone you know, even if it is only from Twitter and their blog, is always just a little bit more stressful than reading and reviewing any other book. I mean, I knew how much this book means to Chris and so I really wanted to like it, and preferably even love it. Now, I’ve always loved his reviews, and obviously I trust the bookish tastes of Red Dog Press, what with their Soho Noir series, the Mydworth Mysteries series andStay Mad, Sweetheart, all solid 4 ...more
Heleen Kist
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Chilling and fast paced – great for lovers of serial killer crime. With a flair for the dramatic, Chris McDonald brings us one hell of a gutsy female DI in Erika Piper.
A confident debut from au author to watch.

Rob Parker
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Like a hammer in the dark, A WASH OF BLACK is a debut that hits you with full force and leaves you breathless and stunned. DI Erika Piper is a compelling, hard-as-nails creation, trawling every dark Mancunian corner for the murderer of a movie-star - and as the tension and stakes rack up, so do the bodies and surprises. A superb tale deftly told with a human touch and a real eye for detail, with a true 'just one more chapter' moreishness, A WASH OF BLACK announces Chris McDonald as a superb new ...more
Feb 04, 2020 rated it liked it
A Wash of Black. A title that catches the eye.

Erika Piper. An interesting main character.

Manchester. A clever territory.

Death. I’m in!

D.I Erika Piper couldn’t have picked a better (or worse) time to come back to work after a year’s leave. The dead body of a woman is found in an ice rink. Yes, I already gave you several hints at why A Wash of Black is a gripping read!

I used to go have fun at my hometown’s ice rink, and I must admit, it makes for a great setting for a murder… Especially when the
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black because all things in nature are dark except when exposed to light."

This quote that is placed before the story begins is perfectly fitting, not only because it includes the title of this book but also because A Wash of Black in itself is a sinistrous masterpiece, in which Chris is the literary artist. From the dedication page to the acknowledgements, I was completely intoxicated by the way Chris has created a chilling suspense with the
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read my full review here:
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
A Wash of Black opens with a rather grizzly murder. The prologue actually shows the murder from the perspective of the killer, giving it a really gripping intro. After that everything is seen from the perspective of our hero, Detective Erika Piper. Erika is a great character. There's an incident in her past that is slowly revealed over the course of the book, and it's clearly affecting her. She's just returning to work after a year away and it has an impact on a lot of her relationships. This ...more
Olivia Huse
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One death, two deaths, three deaths, four.

A Wash of Black is a brilliant crime thriller to open a series, and I cannot wait to read more.
Plunged directly into the action, the novel opens with the death of Anna Symons who has been brutally mutilated and left for dead on an ice rink. Forensics examine the scene and retrieve a single page from The Threat, a fictional series used as inspiration in Anna’s killing. Scattered pages from The Threat series are the only lead to finding the notorious ‘
Stevie Robinson
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When was the last time you did something for the first time?

When was the last time you had a food you haven’t had before?

Tried a new flavor of soft drink even?

Doing something for the first time is something that should be celebrated.

We should be celebrating Chris McDonald’s first novel, because it’s absolutely fantastic.

I’m not kidding – this is his debut book.

When you’ve read it, you’ll remember I said this.

It reads like a book from an author that is 20 published works deep into his career.

Michelle Ryles
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-read
Wow, what a debut! A Wash of Black is simply outstanding and there's a lot of buzz on social media about Chris McDonald's debut; so take my advice and believe the hype! Even better, it's the first in an exciting new crime series and I, for one, can't wait for the next DI Erika Piper instalment.

Stronger than the World's Strongest Man, A Wash of Black has an amazing strong female lead in DI Erika Piper. I love how we meet her on her return to work after a year off following a traumatic incident; a
Joanne Robertson
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh I did love this book! I was attracted to it originally due to the setting of Altrincham, and surrounding areas in Manchester, as it's an area I know well but I really hadn't expected to become quite so utterly gripped by DI Erika Piper and her team.A Wash of Black had a brilliantly addictive storyline with a protagonist you could really care about as her private life became as intriguing as her professional one. A past tragedy has changed Erikas perspective on life but it's time to put ...more
Hina Tabassum
Jan 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Originally published on Hina Loves To Read

As I have mentioned my pet peeve many times before, every one just knows. This one, too, had that going for it. You guessed it right. The book is in the first person narrative!


- The story was intriguing enough for me to continue and overlook the pet peeve. I was rooting for this character (Erika) as she puzzled the pieces together.

- The structure of the novel was well formed with the characters showing more dimensions to them as the story
J Fearnley
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ll be reviewing this book as part of a BlogTour in Feb., I will update my comment then and allocate a rating.

I came across Chris McDonald a couple of years ago on Twitter – ‘just’ a fellow book blogger! Even then he must have been working away at his own book. So it was lovely to see the tweet saying he had a contract for A Wash of Black with Red Dog Press. Then when I saw that bloggers were needed to review, how could I not?

I’m thrilled Chris is a local author and has used Manchester,
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A Wash of Black has a plot that keeps blooming and developing at the perfect speed. This is a really easy to read book and you can lose yourself in its pages so quickly, though it’s much harder to escape from. In the time it took me to read this book, nothing else got done! Do not start to read A Wash of Black if you already have a heavy ‘to do’ list.

I really liked the character of DI Erika Piper, she was relatable and real. You can really get a sense of her personality through the way she
Lel Budge
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
DI Erika Piper has just returned to work after removing from an injury at work that had nearly killed her. Straight away her first case is a murder.

Anna Symons, an actor, has been murdered and her mutilated body left on an ice rink, in a pose nearly identical to that in one of her movies. A page from a book has also been left at the scene.

“In his head, this isn’t murder, it’s art”

Soon after, a second murder is committed, just as violent. The two victims are linked but just who would want them
Alex  Jones
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
When a famous actress is found, brutally murdered at an ice rink in a re-enactment of a scene from her latest movie, DI Erika Piper, a detective with a dark cloud hanging over her, investigates the crime.

What follows is a fast paced, twisty mystery that will keep you guessing and catch you out when the killer is revealed.

The main protagonists in Erika and her partner Liam are both likeable and believable which is no easy task, it’s very often I read a book and just can’t connect to the
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review appears on my blog with many others at:

It is incredibly satisfying to take a punt on a novel that you know very little about and becoming utterly engrossed in it. You take a risk but you are richly rewarded not only with a gripping police procedural but also the anticipation of a series leading character in DI Erika Piper, a well-rounded and immediately appealing investigator.

As you can probably tell, I am delighted to provide a stop on the A Wash
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An amazing read.
A gripping, addictive read that pulls you in and has you hooked.
Full review to follow as part of the blog tour , but this book was one of my top reads of last year and Will be one the list again this year!
Claire Woodhouse
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! Really loved this, fast paced, difficult to put down. Killer wasnt predictable.
Sandra Ryles
rated it it was amazing
Feb 05, 2020
Matthew Hamilton
rated it it was amazing
Feb 17, 2020
Lisa Bower
rated it it was amazing
Feb 06, 2020
Maria Tierney
rated it it was amazing
Feb 05, 2020
rated it really liked it
Feb 08, 2020
Leanne Nelson
rated it really liked it
Feb 11, 2020
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