Copycat by C.S.Barnes – Book Review



When the body of a young woman, Jenni Grantham, is found abandoned in the playing fields that sit at the centre of a small town, DI Melanie Watton and her team are called to investigate. If the discovery alone wasn’t disturbing enough, it soon becomes apparent that the murder, the method and the appearance of the victim, is something they have seen before.

With the help of Medical Examiner George Waller, DI Watton uncovers the case history of Michael Richards – a local murderer who put this small town on the map when he killed five women before turning himself in.

Further investigations reveal that the most recent victim, Jenni, was recently reported missing by her parents. And when Jenni’s personal effects are introduced into the investigation, shocking discoveries are made about the victim’s fascination with the original killings.

However, when the ME makes a surprise discovery, things appear even more complicated than the team originally believed, and DI Watton realises that Jenni was perhaps not the only local with a fixation on these infamous killings.

With a copycat killer on the loose, the team know it is only a matter of time before another body is discovered. But when a second murder does take place, the team find themselves questioning everything they thought they knew…


16 year old Jenni Grantham’s body is found, strangled with a plastic bag taped over her head……a note is found “Remember Me”

DI Melanie Watton remembers the old Michael Richards case, he killed young women so he could be famous, is there a link? She starts her investigation by talking to Jenni’s friends, Patrick and Eleanor, do they know who she was meeting?

Her colleagues, DS Edd Carter and DC Chris Burton, begin trawling through CCTV and Jenni’s computer and find disturbing messages from TheRealMichaelRichards…..just what were they planning …?

But then Patrick goes missing and again they find messages from the same person on his computer….will they find Patrick and is Eleanor in danger too?

I found this to be a gripping police procedural with a fast pace that really keeps you on tenterhooks. I loved the characters, with their personal lives and human problems and also the relationship between them all…a great team.

The emotions of the bereaved parents felt real and it helped build the tension right up to the incredible yet depressing end…….

A clever, tense and thought provoking read that feels all too possible …..I hope to read more of DI Watton and her team…

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook.  This is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here



C.S. Barnes (Charley to her long-time pals) is a Worcestershire-based writer and poet who has recently achieved her Doctorate degree in Creative Writing, and now spends a lot of her time wondering what to do with it. She is a lecturer, content writer, tea-drinker and book-reader with a passion for psychological thrillers that shines through her own work.

Barnes is also one of three directors of Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe literary festival and, independently of this, she runs her own monthly open mic/spoken word event in Worcester City Centre, titled Dear Listener.

She published her debut short story collection in May 2017, titled The Women You Were Warned About (Black Pear Press), and her debut poetry pamphlet, A Z-hearted Guide to Heartache, will be published be in July 2018 (V. Press). Never Forget Your First will be Barnes’s debut novel, due for publication with Bloodhound Books in 2019.

For writerly updates you can follow Barnes on Twitter: @charleyblogs

3 responses to “Copycat by C.S.Barnes – Book Review”

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