Time to Die by Alex Howard || Book Review

When I first read the blurb at the back of the book, I had strong suspicions that this book probably wouldn’t be an easy read.

As it turned out, I was very right.
This coming from a person who falls asleep easily after reading thriller/horror books and binge-watching true crime series.

On GoodReads, this book also goes by the name of The Stolen Child by Alex Coombs. It’s the same book, and the same author. This is the first book in the DCI Hanlon series.

I don’t usually add trigger warnings to my reviews, but I feel this book needs a few to give readers a proper heads up.

DISCLAIMER: This review could contain possible spoilers based on my opinions. All opinions and views are my own.

Book review: Time to Die by Alex Howard #bookreview #alexhoward #mysterybooks #crimebooks #booktwt #bookaddict #booktwitter

Originally published: 2014

Pages: 352
Format: Paperback

Plot from GoodReads:

Detective Inspector Hanlon. She’ll break but she won’t bend. A woman with a habit of breaking the rules and a fierce loyalty to the few people she respects. 

Her boss, Corrigan. Looks like a street copper promoted above his ability. Underestimate him at your peril.

Enver Demirel. Known in the boxing ring as Iron Hand. Now soft and gone to seed. But he would do anything for Hanlon.

Now the kidnap of a 12-year-old diabetic boy has blown the case of some missing children wide apart and the finger is pointing at the heart of the Met.

Corrigan sends in the only cop in his team who would care more about the life of a boy than about her own career. Hanlon.

And then he sends Demirel to spy on her…


As I mentioned above, this isn’t an easy read, especially with the plot that takes.

There are some difficult themes addressed in the book – heavy crime, racism, corruption, kidnapping, murder and pedophilia.

This turned out to be a hard read because of the nature of the children being exposed to horrible situations and the abuse they experienced. While most crime books are already twisted in their nature, it’s a little harder to process when children are involved.

DI Hanlon wasn’t a character that I liked from the beginning, but as the story continued and you got to know her character better, you kind of ended up understanding her demeanour better. Her character quirks aren’t for everyone to like and accept.

She’s not everyone’s cup of tea and she makes it no secret that she couldn’t care less about that. If she doesn’t like you, you’ll be the first to know. If she does, she’ll have your back until the end.

The book started off with a regular pace as you’re introduced to the characters and then suddenly the pace just takes off as you’re plunged into the plot’s darkness.

While I didn’t enjoy all of the elements used in the book, crime wise, it was a good read and well written nonetheless.


Due to the nature of this book and the elements that take place, I wouldn’t recommend this book to everyone, especially if you are easily triggered by the themes that take place in the book.

My Rating:

The book has a rating of 4.08 on GoodReads. I gave it a 4.

Time to Die by Alex Howard #bookreview #alexhoward #mysterybooks #crimebooks #booktwt #bookaddict #booktwitter

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