Book Review: The Colours of Death by Patricia Marques

June 14, 2021 in Mystery & Thriller

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The book that I’m going to talk to you about today was a HUGE surprise to me. First of all, because the publishers requested that I read it – and not the other way around. But secondly, because this doesn’t seem like a book that I would normally gravitate to but I absolutely LOVED it. It combined all of these elements that I loved and I thought it was fantastic. Easily one of my all time favourites. So here’s my rave review of The Colours of Death by Patricia Marquez.

Many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Colours of Death by Patricia Marques

The Colours of Death by Patricia Marques

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Date of Publication: 17th June 2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: eBook (500 pages)
Rating: ★★★★★

Buy on*


The Murder
In the Gare do Oriente, a body sits, slumped, in a stationary train. A high-profile man appears to have died by throwing himself repeatedly against the glass. But according to witnesses, he may not have done this of his own accord.

The City
Lisbon 2021. A small percentage of the population are diagnosed as Gifted. Along with the power comes stigma and suspicion.

The Detective
In a prejudiced city, Gifted Inspector Isabel Reis is hiding her own secrets while putting her life on the line to stop an ingenious killer.

A violent and mysterious crime. Suspected Gifted involvement. A city baying for blood. And a killer who has only just begun . . .

Content Warnings

  • Mild body horror
  • Murder
  • Violence

Book Review

Okay, let’s kick this off with the plot. Based on the synopsis alone, I might not have picked this up. But since it piqued enough of my interest, I decided to give it a shot. And honestly, it exceeded all of my expectations. It’s such a great story and it works incredibly well. From the first page right through to the last, I was HOOKED.

So basically, it’s a bit of a genre-bending novel. You’ve got the mystery element at the heart of the story. You’re following a detective who’s investigating a murder. But she can read other people’s emotions and minds. And it turns out that there are other people who possess “gifts” too. So it also has strong SFF vibes going on which really hit the spot for me. As such, I’d recommend this to fans of either genre who are wanting to branch out a little.

There are plenty of twists and red herrings. I did figure it out before the big reveal but personally, I actually prefer that because it means that I’ve picked up on the clues along the way. While I wouldn’t outright call it a thriller, it is well paced with plenty of suspense and a cast of shifty suspects. It’s also that perfect mix of being both character and plot driven without being too heavily focused on either.

The main character, Isabel, is fantastic. Easily one of my favourite fictional detectives. (Maybe even ranking higher than Olivia Benson???) This is very much her story so you do get a lot of her history, her relationships with others and society at large as well as the investigation side of things. And there’s this whole anti-gifted movement in Portugal which complicates matters for her and the case is a bit entangled in that. So Isabel’s dealing with a lot. But ultimately, she’s likeable and easy to sympathise with even though she can come across as negative at times.

Another thing that I really liked about this book is the hint of a potential romance? There’s a platonic relationship here that feels like it COULD boil over into something more which I enjoyed a lot. It meant that the story wasn’t bogged down with mushy stuff but there was still a strong relationship forming and you definitely root for them to get together which is EXACTLY what I want to be reading.

This is the first book in a series and I’ve never been this excited about committing to a series before. Honestly, this is going up there as one of my all time favourites. It’s that good. So yeah, I cannot wait for the next instalment to come out. (Also this NEEDS to be adapted. It would make a FANTASTIC TV show.)

Read this if you…

  • Like your mysteries to be anything but ordinary
  • Enjoy reading SFF

Will you be adding The Colours of Death to your TBR? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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