The Word Association

Kate Rhodes

Kate Rhodes Kate Rhodes gained a PhD in American Literature at the University of Essex, and then taught English Literature in England and the USA. Kate now works full-time as a writer and lives in Cambridge with her husband, the writer and artist Dave Pescod.Kate began life as an award-winning poet, before becoming a crime writer, and writes regular editorials and short stories for newspapers such as the Telegraph, Mailon Sunday, and the Express. In May 2014 Kate won the Ruth Rendell short story prize, awarded by the charity Interact.

Kate’s debut novel CROSSBONES YARD was published in the UK, US, Germany, Brazil and Russia in 2012. The novel is the first in the Alice Quentin series, featuring a London-based forensic psychologist. The series has garnered significant praise from the British press:

‘Alice is a wonderfully rounded female protagonist who is vividly written, emotionally accessible and strong…a bone chilling read that will grip you from beginning to end’ Daily Express

The plot has more twists and turns than the path of the legendary river and flows along just as swiftly. We couldn't put it down!’ Best Magazine

‘Atmospheric and suspenseful’ The Lady

‘Fast paced and harrowing … will leave you guessing until the end’ Bella

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Latest book: BLOOD SYMMETRY, published June 2016

Kate Rhodes -blood Symmetry Clare Riordan and her son Mikey are abducted from Clapham Common early one morning. Hours later, the boy is found wandering disorientated. Soon after, a pack of Clare's blood is left on a doorstep in the heart of the City of London. Alice Quentin is brought in to help the traumatised child uncover his memories - which might lead them to his mother's captors. But she swiftly realises Clare is not the first victim... nor will she be the last. The killers are driven by a desire for revenge... and in the end, it will all come down to blood


Three years ago the daughter of cabinet minister Timothy Shelley was brutally attacked and thrown into the River Thames. Jude Shelley is still in hospital, awaiting a face transplant, but no suspect has ever been found. Soon a new spate of identical attacks takes place, the killer revealing his obsession with the Thames by leaving objects from the shore at each crime scene. Dr Alice Quentin consults the history academics at London University and discovers that the killer is leaving victims’ bodies at sites of ancient human sacrifice: Execution Dock, London Bridge, and Vauxhall Cross. When DCI Don Burns is taken, the stakes are high for Alice who is falling in love with him.

The killer has suffered a psychotic breakdown after working as Shelley’s assistant for years. Since his mother committed suicide, he can hear the river talking to him, calling for more souls. His hero worship of Timothy Shelley turned to an obsessive desire to protect him after discovering that his boss had been having an affair. When Alice finally tracks Burns down he is close to drowning in the Thames. She will need all of her bravery to rescue him from the murderer’s clutches and the rising tide.


In the depths of a harsh winter psychologist Alice Quentin begins a placement at Northwood, a high security psychiatric prison for the UK’s most dangerous prisoners. She plans to carry out research, but her work is disturbed when the bodies of young girls are found in historic locations in London. The first child’s body is left outside the Foundling Hospital in a cardboard coffin, dressed as a Victorian orphan. The killing bears a chilling resemblance to the murders carried out by Northwood’s most terrifying serial killer. Louis Kinsella was a primary school headmaster when he abducted and killed eleven young girls, and was obsessed by the Foundling Hospital’s regime.

When another young girl’s body is discovered Alice is drawn into DCI Don Burns’s investigation. The killer knows details from Kinsella’s killing spree which only he could have shared. Alice must form a close relationshipwith the murderer, to make him share his secrets, but their meetings become a game of cat and mouse. The only way for Alice to gain access to his mind is to reveal secrets of her own, and she knows how much danger she’s in. Kinsella is a brilliant psychopath who goaded his last therapist to breaking point through constant psychological bullying.Soon Alice must race against time to save the life of ten year old Ella Williams who is being held captive by a vicious killer. To gain Kinsella’s secrets, she must bargain with her life


It’s the hottest summer on record and a banker is pushed to his death under a Tube train in central London. Psychologist Alice Quentin works with DI Don Burns to track down the ruthless serial killer. But as more bank workers die in a series of vicious attacks, it’s clear that he will stop at nothing to show the world his contempt for the finance industry. The killer leaves pictures of Renaissance angels and a handful of white feathers at the scene of each crime, and Alice must understand the meaning of these symbolic calling cards before the case can be solved. She starts a new relationship with ex-financier Andrew Piernan, but soon realises that he could be involved in the crimes. Alice is exposed to the greed and violence which lie at the toxic heart of the city, and has to use all of her psychological insight, just to survive.


CROSSBONES YARD (Mulholland, 2012), US edition by Minotaur, foreign language editions by Ullstein in Germany, Recorda in Brazil. Exmo in Russia, A KILLING OF ANGELS (Mulholland 2013) US edition by Minotaur, foreign language editions by Ullstein in Germany, Recorda in Brazil, Exmo in Russia. THE WINTER FOUNDLINGS (Mulholland 2014) US edition by Minotaur, foreign language editions by Ullstein in Germany.

Poetry collections: REVERSAL (Enitharmon Press, 2005); THE ALICE TRAP (Enitharmon Press, 2008).