Chloe Emery returns home after a weekend away to find her mother gone. In her place is a wave of blood covering the house. Maeve Kerrigan and her colleagues are called to investigate. What secrets was Kate Emery keeping and where is she? If there are all the signs of violence, but no body, is it really murder?
This is the first Jane Casey novel I have read and I didn’t know what I had been missing out on. My first thought on finishing the book was – Brilliant.
The narrative grabs from the opening, leaving the reader intrigued to find out more. I did not have any previous reader relationship with Kerrigan and her colleagues so I was a little worried that I would find some aspects of the story passing me by. My worries were unfounded.
There is an acerbic, dark humour to the writing that I felt worked perfectly with the story and characters. I loved the interaction between Kerrigan and Derwent. The banter offset the seriousness of the case to a tee. Theirs is a great example of a fictional duo, the trust shown in the easy, yet sometimes turbulent relationship between the two. Kerrigan’s new colleague Georgia Shaw is annoying, too over confident for someone so newly part of the team, trying too hard to impress the wrong people, though that is, I think, how Jane Casey intended her to be portrayed.
The story revolves around few characters, making it easy to follow. As a result there is a closed room mystery feel to the novel. It is obvious that there was more to Kate Emery that met the eye and that the houses on Valerian Road were keeping many secrets. The story examines the fact that we never truly know someone and that the motives behind their actions aren’t always as they appear.
This is book seven in the Maeve Kerrigan series but it can easily be read without having read the rest in the series.
Cleverly constructed, engaging and gripping, the perfect combination for a crime thriller. I look forward to reading more from Jane Casey soon.