Black Heart (Detective Dan Riley #1) by Anna- Lou Weatherley



When the body of a wealthy banker is found with his wrists slashed in a London hotel room, it appears at first to be a tragic suicide. But Detective Dan Riley suspects there is more to this case than meets the eye and the pathology reports confirms his worst fears – the victim was poisoned and suddenly Dan is dealing with a murder enquiry.

Still grieving the devastating loss of his girlfriend and unborn child in a car accident two years ago, Dan throws everything he has into the investigation. Then he makes a disturbing discovery, uncovering links between the victim and a woman calling herself Goldilocks on an online dating site. Is she seeking revenge or something more?

Yet just as Dan begins to piece together the clues of this complex case, the body of a woman is found in her bed with identical wounds. Dan is on the trail of a twisted serial killer – and the stakes just got higher:

The first victim was Daddy Bear. The second Mummy Bear.  Unless Dan can catch the killer, Baby Bear will be next.


Dan Riley is now one of my favorite detectives. I was a bit disoriented when I first met him though. I read the blurb a while back and I guess I had completely forgotten it by the time I picked this book again. I thought Dan was a bit different and that is when it hit me, I have been reading so many crime thrillers with female lead detectives that it took a minute to adjust to a male lead. Don’t get me wrong, I do love female detectives especially Erika Foster and Robyn Carter. However, it was nice to meet a different new favorite.

Riley is the lead detective in a twisted, serial killer murder case. The serial killer has been using the name Goldilocks. This killer seems inspired by the fairy-tale, Goldilocks and the Three Bears and is committing murders picking victims using the storybook as the criterion. As mentioned in the blurb, the first victim is Daddy Bear. This murder occurs in the first chapters of the book hence setting the tone for the story. I was immediately intrigued by the killer and the crime. The teddy bear calling card and the MO were both chilling and intriguing. Naturally, I was curious about Mummy Bear and Baby Bear. I wondered how the killer will select the victims and if the police would be able to solve the case fast enough.  I was also curious about the choice of the fairy-tale.

The story is narrated through alternating POVs between Detective Riley and the killer. I  am usually drawn to the darker narrations but in this case, I enjoyed both narrations because the two characters were fascinating with complicated, strong personalities. I like detectives who have interesting back stories and are not just about the job. Riley had a sad story and his personal life interspersed with the investigation brilliantly without taking the focus away from the case. You need to read the book to get exactly what I mean by this.

The only thing that bothered me a little was the conflict resolution. I expected more especially given how the entire story was narrated. The tension  escalated towards the end and I expected something more dramatic. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the ending. Black Heart is the first book in the Detective Dan Riley series and I am excited to see where the author will take this.


11 thoughts on “Black Heart (Detective Dan Riley #1) by Anna- Lou Weatherley

    1. I hope so too Nikola. I liked the story but I think I was expecting something different or more dramatic in resolution but the end was great. Still a great read though 🙂

  1. You’re absolutely right, it IS refreshing to have a new male detective series coming out! I don’t mind the female detectives, but it seems like we’ve been flooded with them lately… Great review! I’m kind of kicking myself now for not requesting this one.

    1. Yeah, every new series has a female lead of late so Dan Riley is definitely a refreshing change 🙂 Thanks Yvo. I also almost missed it.

  2. I don’t tend to pick up books in this genre often, but I definitely want to because they sound so interesting! I’m glad you enjoyed this one, I think I’m going to have to check it out sometime. 😊 Lovely review!

    1. If you are in the mood for a crime thriller then I reccomend it.It doesn’t have huge twists since readers know the villain from the beginning but it was still a great read.

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