The Colours of Death by Patricia Marques @marquesp09 @HodderBooks #NetGalley #BookReview

The Colours of Death: A gripping crime novel set in the heart of Lisbon by [Patricia Marques]


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 . . .


The Colours of Death: A gripping crime novel set in the heart of Lisbon


The story is set in present-day Lisbon, but not as we know it. There is a small part of the population that are gifted, slotting into either being telepathic or telekinetic, neither is good news. Gifts are something that can develop at different times in life, so some try to hide them. If they are gifted, they have to be tested by law, to measure how developed their gifts are. The very gifted never come home. It is more of a curse than a gift, as families turn their backs on them.

The gifted people that remain in society have to make their gift be known, as it is illegal to invade minds, without consent. Inspector Isabel Reis is gifted while her partner Aleksandr Voronov is not. They have been asked to investigate the brutal death of a man travelling on a train. Witnesses’ tell them of a man that seemed to be brutally smashed into a train window over and over, but no one had touched him. Had he done this himself? or were other forces involved?

It isn’t long before Isabel’s gift is being used, to look into the minds of witnesses, to see if they have seen anything that they are not recalling themselves. It is a sort of meld, which is at times frustrating, as she can only see the things in their vision, she can not turn them round to see things from another angle. Some of the witnesses are more cooperative than others, but none of them is happy about it.

I liked Isabel as she not only had her gift but that gut feeling of how she feels about people too. I liked how the story built and became a race against time as more people were brutally killed, with an unseen force. Isabel has an internal battle brewing but feels that she can not trust anyone to talk to about it.

It is a strange world of prejudice, secrets, shame and betrayal. A brilliant believable storyline. Different but not far from reality either.

I wish to thank Net Galley and the Publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.



Half-Angolan and half-Portuguese, Patricia was born in Portugal but moved to England when she was eight. As well as an MA in Creative Writing from City University, she holds a BA in Creative Writing from Roehampton. She lives in London and The Colours of Death is her first novel. 

Twitter: @marquesp09

The Colours of Death: A gripping crime novel set in the heart of Lisbon by [Patricia Marques]

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