#TsundokuSquad Book Club – June 2021 – The Tattoo Thief

Hello fellow bookworms!

At the start of the year I announced that I had joined a book club (#TsundokuSquad) and today I am sharing our groups thoughts on our sixth read of the year. This month we went back to a crime read that we all downloaded for free from Amazon!

Title: The Tattoo Thief (Sullivan and Mullins #1)

Author: Alison Belsham

Genre: Historical Mystery & Thriller

Goodreads Rating: 3.85

My Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

#TsundokuSquad Average Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Source: Kindle Store


A policeman on his first murder case
A tattoo artist with a deadly secret
And a twisted serial killer sharpening his blades to kill again…

When Brighton tattoo artist Marni Mullins discovers a flayed body, newly-promoted DI Francis Sullivan needs her help. There’s a serial killer at large, slicing tattoos from his victims’ bodies while they’re still alive. Marni knows the tattooing world like the back of her hand, but has her own reasons to distrust the police. So when she identifies the killer’s next target, will she tell Sullivan or go after the Tattoo Thief alone?

#TsundokuSquad Review:

Quite a lot of us in the group love a good crime read. We all like to play detective as we go along and with our previous crime read I loved hearing everyone’s theories on who the murderer might be etc. Here’s what we thought….

Week One

During our first discussion a lot of us were enjoying the read. Some of us felt it was very similar to M.J. Arlidge’s style of writing and Francis Sullivan was our male version of Helen Grace. We were very intrigued by Marni Mullin’s backstory and loved her character. She had fire and wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, we had a feeling she would end up helping a lot on the case. Perhaps the most interesting part though was the excerpts that were from the killer’s POV. These excerpts were chilling and disturbing but they provided a different angle to the story. It was great to get little snippets of information from the killer without knowing who they were early on. At this point none of us were entirely sure where the story was going to lead but we were keen to continue.

Week Two

Our second week saw a lot of drama between Marni and Francis then Francis and Bradshaw/Rory. We started to learn more about Marni’s story and why she doesn’t like the police very much. Francis was having a pretty tough time of it. Not only did he have this case to solve but he had Rory willing to dob him in at any opportunity and Bradshaw breathing down his neck! As always the killer’s notes were proving to be very gory and very descriptive, giving us more clues about who they were. The group had multiple theories but we weren’t entirely sure who the killer or the collector were. Some of us were starting to find the book a little predictable at this stage and I was worried that it was starting to go that way. Nevertheless we all wanted to continue to see the case solved.

Week Three

Now we were nearing the end of the book we were starting to see the case develop quite quickly. Whilst some of our thoughts had played out exactly as we thought i.e. Francis and Rory battling for top dog, there were some other surprises along the way. We learnt more about Marni’s story that made our group like her even more and we had the horrendous discovery at the farm. We were still throwing theories around about who the killer and the collector might be but we all agreed that it would be a final showdown between Marni, Francis and the killer.

Week Four

Our final week and we got all the answers we wanted. My favourite character without a doubt has to be Marni. She was fierce, powerful and knew how to kick butt! Her showdown with the killer had me cheering her on and I was so pleased that she wasn’t a damsel in distress. The final fight scene was extremely graphic and bloody but it was very entertaining. I have to hand it to two of our members Em and Bex, who shall now be named Holmes and Watson, as they spotted the killer/collector early on. Overall I enjoyed this read. It was fast paced, easy to read and had an interesting story line. It was a little predictable at times but a lot of us in the group still want to read the next in the series.


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