Kathryn Fox’s crime series follows Dr Anya Crichton, who specialises in dealing with victims of sexual assaults. Malicious Intent and Without Consent were both excellent reads but her novels have gone slowly downhill since and I think Death Mask might be the end for me.

For some reason she decided to transplant Anya to America to cover the seedy side of American football even though she tars Aussie rules and soccer with the same brush. I find it very hard to believe that 90% of football players are rapists or the awful attitude of fans and the media towards victims that is portrayed here. Surely I’m not completely ignorant of the culture surrounding the game?

Whilst Anya is an established character I found the characters to be a bit flat and there was no real chemistry between the leading couple. The plot seemed to be wavering between legal drama (we know from the start who was involved in the rapes) and crime mystery but not hitting the mark with either. Whilst the crimes that occur are horrific, I did feel Anya felt a bit high and mighty and would have worked a bit better if she came across as flawed herself. It all seemed a bit too black and white for me. The players that were supposedly good got very little page space and I was left at the end not really understanding the reporter’s actions.

Please don’t let my less than enthusiastic review put you off reading her other books though, the first two I do recommend:

Malicious Intent
#2 Without Consent
#3 Skin and Bone
Blood Born
#5 Death Mask