Tag Archives: David Mark

Oh, Aector

book cover of Sorrow Bound by David Mark

Title: Sorrow Bound
Author: David Mark
Series: Aector McAvoy #3
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 352 pages
Rating: 4 stars (Madeleine) 4.5 stars (Zelda)


The ever-lovable, lumbering police detective Aector McAvoy returns for his third book in Sorrow Bound. When Philippa Longman is found brutally murdered, Aector and Pharaoh are at a bit of a loss to understand why. The woman was well-loved, kind, and dedicated to improving her local neighborhood. Philippa’s death is followed by another murder, and the only connection between the two is that both saved the life of a man years ago. But who would kill someone for being a good samaritan?

Aector’s personal life is also a source of stress. Aector and Roisin are preparing to move into a house that they may or may not be able to afford. After standing up for a friend and confronting a drug dealer (okay, and stealing his money), Roisin becomes the target of the local crime lords. And in other parts of Hull, DC Helen Tremberg finds herself in a sticky situation after attracting the attentions of a man who seems to be too good to be true.


Madeleine: Let’s be honest: what keeps me coming back to this series is Aector. He is such an atypical fictional detective in a world of hardboiled, jaded detectives with destroyed personal lives. Aector is a genuinely good person who constantly worries about being a good person and deeply loves his wife and family. I love reading about a detective who isn’t sure about actions to take, who can’t quite maintain a professional distance and often finds himself bewilderedly comforting grieving family members, and who blushes whenever someone teases him. I especially loved this description of Aector:

“She remembers their first meeting. Remembers that agonizing walk from Queen’s Gardens to Hull Crown Court. It had rained the night before and the damp pavements were patterned with the crushed shells of snails that had not got out of the way as the city’s commuters began their walks to work. McAvoy had kept stopping every five or six steps to pick up any snail he thought was in harm’s way. He filled his pockets with them then ran back to Queen’s Garned to put them safely on the grass.”

The man saved snails!

Zelda: The snail story was perhaps one of my favorite parts of the book!! I love that while Aector struggles with work and his family, he at least has a family to go home to. I love reading about jaded detectives as much as the next owl, but someone has to be happy, right?

Madeleine: The only other detective similar to Aector that I can think of is Maeve Kerrigan from series by Jane Casey. I’ve only read the first book, but Maeve brings a fresh perspective as an early-career detective who is also concerned with doing the right thing and not 100% sure what to do at all times. In fact, now I want a crossover series with Maeve and Aector teaming up and being awesome together. Pharaoh can join too.

Zelda: I simultaneously want to go drinking with Pharaoh, but also find her so intimidating I hope we never meet. She seems so fun and yet terrifying. It’s a thrilling combination, I suppose. Jane Casey is fantastic. I love Maeve and can’t wait to get her next book, which is in cataloging as I type. 🙂

Continue reading


Original Skin

I haven’t reviewed a mystery in a while and this one is worth talking about! I really loved The Dark Winter by David Mark when I read it last year. It was totally different and the main character was really fantastic. The premise is basically a killer going around murdering people the way they would have died, which is always totally horrific. I couldn’t WAIT for the library to purchase this book! Then they did and I thought DS Aector McAvoy was great and I wanted to know more about him. Then comes Original Skin.

This plot on it’s own would have drawn me in but already knowing the characters was nice. Aector is still his lovable self and I couldn’t have been happier about that. There are a few different plot lines being drawn together and they are woven together so nicely. I never felt as though the changes in the book were jarring, mostly they just cutaway right before the good stuff to keep you reading! I also only felt like I was missing out on one plot point that seemed less developed. I won’t give anything away but I will say the way the book opens, it doesn’t really go back to that often and let you explore where that could have gone.

This one gives more insight to the main character and his life with his wife. I loved that this takes a different spin on the detective’s life than many of the other murder mysteries I have read recently. There seems to be a lack of family life or a really tragic back story regarding their family. I enjoyed reading about a happy and stable relationship for a change.

I’m actually really impressed that The Dark Winter was this authors first novel. He is definitely gifted with mystery writing and tells a really addicting tale. Add to all this the fact that before writing these novels David Mark was a crime reporter for fifteen years? His experience definitely shows and it makes the novels that much more alive. I read a lot of really dark murder books but these two definitely need some recognition.

Overall, I would say definitely pick this one up if you need a new mystery! It would make sense without reading the first one but it was so good you should read both of them!

I received an ARC copy of this from NetGalley the week after this was published (May of 2013). Keep an eye out for book 3!