The Tattoo Thief – Alison Belsham [SPOILERS]

Our Sixth #TsundokuSquad monthly book (June) was ‘The Tattoo Thief’ by Alison Belsham. We all read this book on the kindle and split the book into four parts.


A policeman on his first murder case
A tattoo artist with a deadly secret
And a twisted serial killer sharpening his blades to kill again…

When Brighton tattoo artist Marni Mullins discovers a flayed body, newly-promoted DI Francis Sullivan needs her help. There’s a serial killer at large, slicing tattoos from his victims’ bodies while they’re still alive. Marni knows the tattooing world like the back of her hand, but has her own reasons to distrust the police. So when she identifies the killer’s next target, will she tell Sullivan or go after the Tattoo Thief alone?

Week 1 – 5th June

We are all enjoying the story so far. It is fast paced, gory, and easy to read/follow.

Some of us are getting M J Arlidge vibes (all who have read his work) and some of us were happier about this than others… Some of us didn’t feel it was very original at all but that this didn’t necessarily detract too much from the story.

There is already lots going on. We all agreed that we liked Marni and were particularly interested in her and her back story.

I had the distinct feeling that the killer was a woman but I was alone in this theory. We all had no idea though who the killer or the collector are but are gripped enough to need to find out!

We all felt the American gang references we’re a little random and out of place (unless it comes in useful later?) and that there is a clear biblical link with the killer that we’re interested in.

Our words for this weeks part can be summed up below but in summary we are all currently enjoying this fast-paced story and are very interested in where it is going. Current ratings have three people on a 3/5 and six people on a 4/5.

Week 2 – 12th June

Personally this week i was getting a little bored, the pace had dropped off a little and i was expecting maybe more murders…

We’d have loved a bit more from Marni’s (we want to know who she stabbed) but this might still be to come.

Steve keeps on showing up in plaes and we’re thinking he might be more connected than it seems.

The killer’s POV is particularly disturbing and vivid but we are enjoying how it is breaking up the main storyline and adding a different element. I’m still convinced the killer is a woman but on my own.

Collectively we are a little worried the book is going to end up being predictable and are hoping it isn’t a let down. We all want some more answers and we all would like an answer fr the Marni/Thierry/Paul link.

Our words for this week can be seen below and our ratings based on this week are me at a 3/5, two at a 3.5/5 and the rest still at a 4/5. The majority of us still very much enjoying it.

Week 3 – 19th June

Someone had made the guess that Marni would be used as bait, so we were happy with that prediction. Also the revelation of Paul and Thierry being brothers and the history there with Marni was interesting.

The descriptions of the farmhouse were so vivid they actually made us feel a bit funny, could really imagine the stench.

As a group we’re largely pretty uniterested in the police side of the story, which is interesting and not sure it is intended?

Iwao is being hinted as the collector but we think this might be a red-herring. I’m still convinced the killer is a woman and a large majority think it’s Steve. Really hoping that is isn’t a random person we haven’t met yet as we feel this would be annoying and anti-climatic.

A few of us felt they found the farmhouse a little too quickly and that the suspense has gone a little but are interested to see what the final part holds for us… hopefully answers.

Our words for this week are as below, we had three people on a 3/5 and the rest still at a 4/5.

Week 4/Last Week – 26th June

So I was very happy that the killer was a woman and thoroughly enjoyed my ‘I told you so’ moment! We all saw Steve coming – so no real shockers there (although the rest of the group were shocked by the woman)

I personally thought the ending was a little weird… but others enjoyed it. We enjoyed that marni saved them all rather than needing to be saved!

Half of the group thought it was thoroughly average and a little underwhelming overall. The other half of it enjoyed it and would read the next one (and are going to together!)

So as always a mix of feelings towards the book – the great thing about book clubs!

Our words for this week and the book overall are as below. Ratings wise we had four people at 3/5, four people at 3.5/5 and two at 4/5.

Our overall group rating: 3.5/5

My individual rating: 3/5

As always, this is our split views on this book. You may love this book, you may hate this book – the only way to find out is to read it (if you want!)

…our July book is ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas! So keep your eyes peeled for our thoughts on that one!


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