Absolute pleasure to read Pamela Callow’s debut novel Damaged. It was like a breath of fresh air. The crime/thriller genre was reawakened for me. Actually, positively kicked out of bed more like it. There’s a killer on the loose, a killer nicknamed the Body Butcher. Girls have been found murdered and dismembered. You think that’s bad enough but add in that the killer leaves a mark on the bones of the victims, a mark which spells LOL and you would be forgiven for thinking this was all a nightmare. Spare a thought for Kate Lange as the Body Butcher isn’t the only feature in her nightmare, the past rates highly and working at Lyon McGrath Barrett is also up there.
Kate is a 30-something-year-old who has a little bit of trouble leaving the past in the past, which is understandable given her sister’s death. I think Kate feels like she needs to prove herself in her job, and in turn her life, in order to move forward from the past. Success is high on Kate’s agenda and her mantra, “Because if you were successful, you’d be respected. No one could hurt you. No one could take that success away from you,” gives us an insight to the real Kate, a Kate looking for security, safety and self-worth. She is looking to achieve success at law firm Lyon McGrath Barrett but words like conspiracy, guilt and regret may get in her way.
Marian McAdam is the grandmother of Lisa, one of the Body Butcher’s victims. Marian approaches Kate for counsel before Lisa is found, she is worried for Lisa’s welfare and believes her mother, the cold-hearted Judge Carson, may not be providing the best home for Lisa. Kate sees this case as a custody matter and is rudely pushed into the sick world of the Body Butcher when Lisa is discovered. Not only that, Kate sees just how career-minded Judge Carson works, how her career has defined her, success being the ultimate goal, and how perhaps she mightn’t be the best mothering material.
Add to the mix Ethan, Kate’s ex-fiancé, the detective working the Body Butcher case and it seems Kate has quite a lot on her plate to deal with. Not to mention trying to keep her job, oh, and of course, her life.
Be warned, this is a fast-paced and entertaining read. Even now, months after reading Damaged, I find myself thinking wow, so much was covered in the one book, and there are so many aspects I could expand on in my review. This, my readers, I believe, is what made Damaged such a treat to read; lots happening but no confusion. Pamela Callow has done a fantastic job with Damaged and I cannot wait to read her next book Indefensible.
Click here to go to Pamela’s author profile where you can find out more about her and Damaged