Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Always Thrilling Crime Series Never Disappoints



(Note: Although this review will not contain spoilers for The Stranger You Know, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier Maeve Kerrigan mysteries.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

London murder detective Maeve Kerrigan is at a loss.  Someone is strangling women in their homes, leaving no evidence behind.  Without DNA, footprints, or any other clue to guide them, Maeve and her team can't figure out how to proceed.  Who is this guy and how is he covering his trail so completely?


When evidence finally does start trickling in, it points in a disturbing direction—DCI Josh Derwent.  Maeve's partner is long on personality flaws and short on charm, but he's a driven, highly-skilled copper.  He can't be a murderer.  Can he?  Derwent has never been exactly forthcoming (except when Maeve really, really wishes he wouldn't be) about his personal life; truthfully, she doesn't know that much about him.  Could the misogynistic Derwent really be behind the brutal killings?  Maeve doesn't think so, but the more she learns about his dark past, the more uncertain she becomes.  Derwent has been accused of murder before.  Was he guilty then?  Is he guilty now?  Maeve has to know.

I've been a big Maeve Kerrigan fan ever since her debut in The Burning.  Irish crime writer Jane Casey has created an understated heroine who shines because of her humanity.  Maeve is tough and smart, compassionate and brave, but also fallible and self-deprecating.  I love her.  Casey also crafts tense, exciting plots filled with lots of twists as well as colorful characters.  The Stranger You Know, the fourth book in the series, is no exception.  It's a surprise-filled, action-packed, can't-put-it-down thriller that kept me totally engrossed.  Fair warning: Casey's books are not for the faint of heart.  They're disturbing and gory.  If you can handle that kind of thing, then I'd recommend Jane Casey's mystery/thrillers.  Her police procedurals are always top-notch—complex, well-written, and engaging.  If you're a British/U.K. crime fiction fan and haven't given Casey a go yet, you're missing out.

(Readalikes:  Other books in the Maeve Kerrigan series, including Left For Dead [novella]; The Burning; The Reckoning; The Last Girl; The Kill; After the Fire; and Let the Dead Speak.  Also reminds me of the Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French and mystery/thrillers by Sharon Bolton)

Grade:

 

If this were a movie, it would be rated:


To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

7 comments:

  1. I'm still struggling with these "crime" books. Meaning from detectives etc point of view. I used to love them. Maybe this is the author to get me back into them.

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    1. I'm trying to wean myself off of them because they're so bloody and violent and just ... disturbing. Unfortunately, they're also totally addicting :(

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  2. I'm a big fan of this series, I like Maeve so much.

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    1. Me, too! She's likable for SO many reasons :)

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  3. This sounds so much like something I'd enjoy I wondered how I missed it until I went to Goodreads to add it to my list only to discover it was already there! I love when a series never disappoints and this sounds fantastic! I love a good mystery and like to mix in some with a little more grit pretty regularly.

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  4. My daughter likes British/U.K. crime so she probably would like this one.

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  5. Maeve is amazing! I've read this book and was hooked from the start!

    I gave your blog a follow, and I would truly appreciate it if you could check out my book reviews blog located at https://elsbookreviews.blogspot.ca/ and possibly give it a follow as well! Looking forward to reading more of your reviews!

    - El

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