Saturday, June 03, 2017

Third Maeve Kerrigan Mystery Twisty, Disturbing

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for The Last Girl, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from earlier Maeve Kerrigan mysteries.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.

Philip Kennford, a London district attorney with a cutthroat reputation, lives a life of luxury.  He, his pampered wife, and their twin daughters dwell in a mammoth house, wear designer clothes, and enjoy all the lavish trappings their vast wealth can purchase.  Money, however, cannot buy happiness or close family ties.  The Kennfords' dysfunction becomes all too apparent when Mrs. Kennford and one of her daughters are brutally stabbed to death in their home.  Although Philip receives minor injuries, the other twin escapes unscathed.  Robbery is suggested as a motive for the attacks but is quickly dismissed.  Philip's cold reaction to the murders is curious.  So is that of 15-year-old Lydia, the surviving twin.  Did Philip kill his family?  If so, why is Lydia alive when Philip's favorite child lies dead in a morgue?  Something sinister is definitely going on here.  But what?

It's up to DC Maeve Kerrigan and her partner, the odious DI Josh Derwent, to find out.  As they investigate the killings, the duo uncovers a whole mess of lies and secrets slithering beneath the surface of the Kennfords' glittering lifestyle.  In the midst of trying to solve this heinous case, Maeve must also deal with the ever-present mocking of her mostly male colleagues.  Even worse, her beloved boss is making decisions she finds not just shocking but also unethical, even illegal.  Can Maeve and Josh solve the puzzling Kennford case?  What about their boss's under-the-table activities?  Do they have the heart—let alone the guts—to stop him?

Although this series seems to get darker as it goes, I'm still a big Maeve Kerrigan fan.  She's an admirable heroine—brave, compassionate, long-suffering, and funny.  The Last Girl, the third Jane Casey mystery starring Maeve, is intriguing and compelling.  It's also twisty; I did not see the (very disturbing ending) coming at all.  These books are not for the faint of heart, but if you like gritty British/Irish crime novels, you'll definitely want to check out Maeve Kerrigan and other books by her creator.

(Readalikes: Other books in the Maeve Kerrigan series, including Left For Dead [novella]; The Burning; The Reckoning; The Stranger You Know; The Kill; After the Fire; and Let the Dead Speak.  Also, Jane Casey mysteries are similar to those written by Tana French, Sharon Bolton, and Peter May)   

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language, violence, blood/gore, and sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

4 comments:

  1. I still need to read the first one in this series. It's on my list...but you know how that goes. If only there were more hours in the day without all these other tasks and to-dos in which I could just read. Then maybe I'd finally get around to reading all those books on my ever-growing list. :)

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    Replies
    1. If only real life didn't get in the way of our reading lives!

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  2. I'm a big fan of this series.

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    Replies
    1. I am, too, even though the books are definitely on the dark/disturbing side. Maeve is such a great, understated character, though. I love her!

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