Book Review: Splinter in the Blood

(Carver & Lake #1)
06.12.2018 | William Morrow
Rating: 4.5/5 stars


Detectives Greg Carver and Ruth Lake have spent months hunting for a cold-blooded serial killer dubbed the Thorn Killer. Carver has been shot in his own home, where is alone with his partner, Lake. Instead of calling for help immediately Lake decides to rearrange the crime scene, remove pieces of evidence, and wipe down her fingerprints. Why would she do this? Is she involved in the shooting?

Carver survives his injuries, but is unable to remember what happened that fateful night. He’s certain that his assailant must have been the Thorn Killer, however, there is no evidence to back his theory. As the police dig deeper into the events that led to Carver being shot it becomes clear that Carver is hiding secrets that may have led to the attack. Does Ruth Lake know the truth? How will her hidden knowledge impact the chase for the Thorn Killer?


SPLINTER IN THE BLOOD is Ashley Dyer’s debut novel, as well as the start to a new crime fiction series surrounding Detectives Greg Carver and Ruth Lake. I would have never guessed that this book was a debut novel for Dyer! Everything is intricately plotted out and solidly written that it feels like she’s been publishing for a long time.

As someone who reads a lot of crime fiction novels it is easy to find yourself dissatisfied by authors reusing the same themes or character traits. I assure you that Dyer does not fall in this category! The Thorn Killer is perhaps one of the most unique serial killers that I have ever read about. The methodology behind the torture that the killer inflicts was fascinating. I love that Dyer chose to include forensic details and scientific links to the murderer tool kit.


Speaking of great characters, Greg Carver and Ruth Lake remind me of a detective duo from a crime show that I would binge watch. They have that lovable quality about them that makes them get along, but also disagree and go against each other, however, never in a spiteful way. Greg Carver has just been shot, yet he wants desperately to get back to work and hunt down a killer who may have potentially just tried to make him his next victim. Ruth Lake is a no-nonsense, take charge detective who will go to whatever lengths needed to solve a case. Thank you Ashley Dyer for not making either of these characters weak. Not writing them in a way in which they need each other to get by. Carver and Lake are an incredible duo, but also fantastic solo detectives. I will say that if I had to pick a favorite, I would 100% pick Ruth!

SPLINTER IN THE BLOOD is the type of crime fiction book and series launch that readers need! Main characters that you can get behind, a fascinating killer committing crimes that keep you guessing, and a strong start to what I can only hope will be a long running series!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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