Snakes and Ladders Book Cover Snakes and Ladders
Ziba McKenzie 1-3 (2019)
Victoria Selman
crime, murder, serial killers, psychological suspense
Thomas & Mercer
(21 Nov. 2019)

Psycho meets The Silence of the Lambs

One killer on the loose. Another setting the rules. A profiler caught in the middle.

A serial killer is terrorising London, removing a body part from each victim and leaving in its place a single pink rose.

Dr Vernon Sange, a multiple murderer awaiting extradition, seems to know the culprit’s identity—but he’ll only talk to profiler Ziba MacKenzie, the woman responsible for putting him away. Though there’s something he wants in return from her. And time is running out.

With one killer whispering in her ear and another running rings around the police, Ziba must play a game in which only her opponent knows the rules, and the forfeit is death.

I re-read books 1 and 2 to get me up to speed for 3 as I had read them some time ago and loved them again. Now in Snakes and Ladders, Ziba, our damaged profiler references the Mind Hunter the TV series and the book that these stories are based on – and which I have been watching – and of course, the very current scandal with MPs and the supposed ring of paedophiles which has been in court and the person claiming the ring sentenced. But when book 2 was written we did not know that he had made it all up. And now of course we can all watch the series The Making of a Murderer which explains some of the reasons that some people kill. Multiple factors come into play from brain abnormalities born with or damage through fights etc; social environment eg growing up in an area rife with gangs; the ease of obtaining weapons and so on. And Ziba gives lectures at Quantico about this topic.

So this story and the previous ones, are based on real events and real insights into profiling and how murderers are made and act. And this gives them the grittiness needed and the author’s ability to take these and make a compelling story from them.

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