Blog Tour Review – Playing Card Killer

Welcome to day one of the Random Things Blog Tours for The Playing Card Killer by Russell James – I have a review for you today, but first I would like to thank Anne, the author, and the publishers Flame Tree Press, for organising the tour and providing me with a free copy of the book for review purposes.

My review is below, but first a quick look at the details of the book and the blurb.

  • Paperback:288 pages
  • Publisher:FLAME TREE PRESS; New edition (14 Feb. 2019)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1787581225
  • ISBN-13:978-1787581227

The Blurb

The-Playing-Card-Killer-ISBN-9781787581241.0Brian Sheridan may be losing his mind.

Asleep, he’s plagued by dreams of murder, women strangled with a red velvet rope then left with a playing card tucked in the corpse. While awake, he’s hallucinating that he’s being stalked by a man painted like a skeleton. It’s getting hard to know what’s real. He hopes all this is driven by his cold turkey withdrawal from a lifetime of anti-anxiety medications.

But when one of his nightmare’s victims shows up on the news, dead, Brian fears he himself may be the unwitting killer…

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My Thoughts

I was delighted to be asked on the tour for this one, as Flame Tree Press are fast proving themselves to be one of my favourite houses, pumping out pure quality. This one did not disappoint.

The Playing Card Killer explores many different elements but is ultimately a crime thriller. Our protagonist Brian, has come of the medication he has been on since youth and is tormented with dreams in which people are being strangled. Then these bodies start appearing in real life, and we are left wondering, WTF is going on!!

playing card killer wtf

I thought that the plot was paced very well, while not fast paced the whole way through, it slowed down at just the right moments. The addition of viewpoints from the long-suffering Detective Weissbard were a thoroughly enjoyable segue, and I would love to see more from this character in the future.

While The Playing Card Killer took a little while to really “grip” me, by the time I got to page 50 I was completely hooked. I couldn’t get enough of the characters, and was on tenter hooks from that point on. The closing sections were read well into the night, leaving me with what is often referred to as a “book hangover” the next day. At least I can’t get pulled over by the traffic police for one of those…. I think.

Overall, this is a KILLER read (I’ll get my coat). If serial killers / crime with a hint of supernatural are your thing – then this one is definitely for you!

About the author

Russell James Author PictureRussell R. James was raised on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching late night horror on TV, despite his parents’ warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn’t make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, he became a technical writer by day and spins twisted tales by night.

His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says “There is something seriously wrong with you.”

Visit his website at read some free short stories.

Twitter @RRJames14

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Playing Card Killer Blog Tour Poster


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