Publication Date: 5th June 2014 from Ebury Press.
Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy.
Maeve Kerrigan is used to investigating murders.But this time a killer has struck far too close to home…
When a police officer is found shot dead in his car, DC Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent take on the investigation. But nothing about the case prepares them for what happens next: a second policeman dies . . . and then another . . .
The Metropolitan Police struggle to carry out their usual duties, but no one knows where or how this cop killer will strike again. While London disintegrates into lawlessness Maeve’s world starts to fall apart too. For if the police can’t keep themselves safe, how can they protect anyone else?
The fifth adventure for Maeve Kerrigan already – seems like only yesterday I started that journey and these days a new Jane Casey book is always one of the highlights of the year for me, so when this one dropped through my letterbox I promised myself that the weekend would belong to Maeve and Derwent. As it happened only a couple of hours overall was required which should tell you just how addictive these books are – plus of course there is my huge literary crush on Derwent, a character who, if he came to life, would be fighting us off as I know I am far from being the only one. Hey he would love it! And I’d win….
In this instalment, police officers are dying and there appears to be no rhyme nor reason to it – no-one is safe, not even Maeve’s nearest and dearest and the fact that I don’t believe Ms Casey would be adverse at any point to killing off one of our favourite characters kept me right on the edge of my seat. Add to that some of the ongoing threads of Maeve’s story starting to come to a head, and Im surprised I didnt suffer more than the odd papercut in my desperation to keep turning the pages.
Crime fiction being one of the most popular genre’s, it is hard to keep things fresh and new, keep the reader involved in the characters and the story but in this case it seems almost effortless. There is a beautiful ebb and flow to these novels overall, not just in this particular story but as an ongoing tale – with each new book you sink deeper into this world and each time there is something new to learn about the characters, their motivations and their relationship to each other, all influenced and impacted by what has gone before. On top of that each one has its own complete story within whichever current mystery is being unravelled – you can actually pick up any single one and not feel like you are missing anything. There is a subtlety to the writing that lets you know the things you need to know without the use of endless exposition and “previously on” type paragraphs that can take a constant reader out of the equation – in that respect these are perhaps some of the most cleverly constructed crime novels out there. I’m not constantly thinking “I KNOW this already I’ve read them all for heavens sake!” but equally I’m reminded gently of what has led us here. That is not easy to achieve – I know, I read a lot of crime fiction.
I often see these described as Police Procedurals, and I guess thats a fair description if you are looking solely at the basics. But personally I dislike that tag for the Kerrigan series, it gives the impression that this is “by numbers” writing. It is anything but – it is the art of creating a group of characters, putting them into varying and often dangerous situations and letting them live. It just so happens that in this case they are Police Officers, but thats not all that they are by any means, and there is nothing generic or standard to be found here. Jane Casey has a humerous and realistic touch that just makes everything brighter and more substantial. Magic on the page yet set in the real world.
I love Maeve. I love that she’s a bit useless sometimes but also intuitive, loyal and lovely. I ADORE Derwent with every fibre of my being despite the fact that as a woman I should probably often frown at his antics and show some disapproval. But hey, I’ve always been one for the bad boys. Surrounding them are many more authentic and often enigmatic characters, none of which you would want to be without – and here we are full circle to earlier in my review – edge of the seat stuff!
Anyway, I guess you can say I kind of liked this one. Now I’m going away to deal with my Derwent withdrawal. Sigh.
5 bright shiny stars plus an extra gold star just because. Go read them now. Go on…I promise you won’t be sorry.
Find out more here: http://www.maevekerrigan.co.uk/
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Happy Reading Folks!