The Killer On The Wall by Emma Kavanagh

Blank bookcover with clipping path

What’s it about?

The first body comes as a shock.

The second brings horror.

The third signals the beginning of a nightmare.

When fifteen-year-old Isla Bell finds three bodies propped against Hadrian’s Wall, her whole world falls apart. In such a close-knit community, everyone knows the victims, and the man who did it.

Twenty years on and Isla has dedicated her life to forensic psychology; studying the brains of serial killers, and even coming face to face with the convicted murderer who turned her world upside down. She is safe after all, with him behind bars.

Then another body appears against the Wall.

And another.

As the nightmare returns and the body count rises, everyone in town is a suspect.

Who is the Killer on the Wall?

You can buy a copy of this novel on Amazon UK | Amazon US.



I loved The Missing Hours so much that I really jumped at the chance to read Emma Kavanagh’s new novel The Killer On The Wall. Maybe my expectations were too high after the previous one because in this novel I did find a few things that kept me from falling in love like the first time.

There are 2 investigating characters in The Killer On The Wall: Mina who’s a detetective and Isla, the woman who found the first victims of Heath McGowan at the Wall 20 years ago. Isla has dedicated her life and work into the research of psychopaths brain scans. She has tested and MRI’d plenty of convicted killers and she now even sees the Killer On The Wall eye to eye because he agreed to her request.

Then new victims are made with the same MO as before. Coincidence, I think not! But is it a copycat or did Heath instruct someone in prison to mess with the community of Briganton after all these years?

The author makes a lot of suggestions and steered me into one direction for a suspect on the outside only to change direction again in another chapter. I felt myself on a carousel after a while. Although I read this novel with lots of questions on my mind too, most of what was offered didn’t really convince me as a motive and I wasn’t really buying any it. I didn’t know who, why or how but I trusted my own instinct and definitely knew there was something wrong with the picture that was being proferred. When all was finally said and done, the ending was not entirely surprising for me, simply because so many were already suspected and dismissed. What I found a bit strange was there wasn’t much of a motive for the actual killer either and I had high hopes actually for an explanation why these people, and these people in particular, were targeted.

I’m afraid I have to admit that on top of this, I also had a bit of difficulty to fully connect with Isla and Mina, although from both of them I liked detective Mina most. She’s unrelentless in her perusal through boxes and in her investigation she doesn’t want to give up even if it means taking risks and doing unfavourable things. She’s looking for the truth and she will find it, even if it means she’s got to put her own feelings aside.

My overall conclusion is that this was a okay read and there’s no question that she’s a good writer but this one just didn’t tick all the boxes for me. I’m not giving up though and I still look forward to reading her next novel.

I received a free copy of this novel through Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

15 thoughts on “The Killer On The Wall by Emma Kavanagh

  1. I saw this one on NG & was tempted but I think I’ll give it a miss, as I’ve got so many books to get through. I love Isla’s job role though; I’ve just finished two 3star books in a row, I don’t want another haha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It sounds like some important elements were missing from this one for you as far as character connection and the ending. I would’ve felt the same way. Lately I’ve had more 3 star reads and several I couldn’t get into at all which can feel very disappointing. Great review!


  3. It sounds like the most important piece of the puzzle remained unaddressed… of course you would want to know about the motives and reasons, the whys… hmm… and it’s also an interesting point about having everyone as a suspect and then the end result not being surprising…


  4. It sounds like maybe some very important elements were either missing or failed to pull through in this. That is too bad, but at least you still enjoy her writing enough to continue on 🙂 I might skip this simple because I feel I would struggle, particularly with it not being my “go to” genre. Loved how fairly you approached this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I need a strong motivation and questions and doubts that lead to a big end, especially when it’s a second book from an author I have loved the first story from. I’m sorry this one was just an okay read. The blurb had me thinking the book had all it needed to be better.


    • Yes me too but I didn’t get that, motivation was even kind of absent here. I know ClaireB is reading this one right now so I look forward to see if she confirms my thoughts or not. I’m sorry to say that I kind’t recommend like I intended to. Thanks Donna for having taken your time to read through my ‘remarks’.


  6. This is on my TBR though I am already having doubts as to whether I will like it. I usually have an issue with the lack of motive in thrillers. It feels like the whole story is pointless if there are no motives. Sad to hear about that being present in this book and the characters too. Sounds like a promising read that failed to deliver.


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