Hartmann – Malicious Rules, Book 1 of the Hartmann Thriller Series, is set in London in the swinging sixties. It chronicles Dr. Julian Hartmann’s search for his 16-year-old son who is missing against the backdrop of the Thames Butcher murders.
In December 1966, a dismembered body is discovered by children playing on the Thames shoreline by Execution Dock. It’s the fifth victim of the Thames Butcher, and London is gripped with fear by the horrific murders.
Dr Julian Hartmann, a lonely 34-year-old bachelor with suppressed memories of childhood abuse, desperate to find his son, leaves his hospital job in Hampshire and moves up to London to search for him fulltime. Meanwhile, the growing media panic about the Thames Butcher escalates after the police disclose that all the victims are young men and that it may be a homophobic crime.
During his search, Julian is drawn into London’s seedier side, a world of porn, illegal drugs, and police corruption. But he will allow nothing to deter him from finding his son, and that unrelenting desire leads him to a terrifying ordeal and into the fires of hell . . .
Five Star Review on Amazon By Amazon Customer
This book really took me by surprise. I liked the cover, the short synopsis, and the fact that it’s set in London during the swinging sixties but it’s a debut novel from an unknown writer, so there are no guarantees it will be good. It could be rubbish or it could be brilliant. In this case, it was more than brilliant.
On the cover you can just about see, on the cellar’s bricks, the word ‘Coleherne’. I’ve heard of the Coleherne, a pub in Earls Court. It was a gay venue in the 40s-80s, and it attracted some famous people and many famous bands. But it also has a history to do with crime. There have been two serial killers who chose their victims from the Coleherne.
The main character, Dr Julian Hartmann, is a strong protagonist with a dark secret in his past that slowly unfolds during the story – so I won’t give the game away now. His search for his 16-yr-old son in London coincides with growing media panic about a serial killer who is targeting young men and dumping their dismembered bodies in the Thames. The twists and turns in this book really do keep you gripped. It’s one of those books you can’t put down. And I didn’t. I read it non-stop until I reached the end at 4am.
One of the things I really liked was the way the author managed to inject a little humour into the main character, which contrasts well with the darker, more gruesome parts. There’s romance, sex and murder in the plot, and it’s a roller-coaster ride for readers.
And there was something else I wasn’t expecting. It has some BDSM scenes that knocks the socks off ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, but they’re subtlety weaved into a cracking, spine-chilling thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. This book is advertised as the first of the Hartmann Thriller Series, and I can’t wait to read the next.
About the Author
Helen L Lowe lives in a small seaside town in Hampshire, UK. She has three grown-up children and, at the time of writing, has four grandchildren. In 1967, she began her nursing training in London. It was an exciting time to be in London with the swinging sixties well underway, and it helped shape the person she is today. While bringing up a family, she was a nurse, midwife, and a piano teacher. She has been writing fiction for over thirty years in what little spare time she had available, but she never gave up the dream of writing full-time and publishing a full-length novel. Her favorites genres are thrillers, supernatural, sci-fi and historical fiction. Most of her stories have a strong medical theme and are not for the fainthearted.