Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

The Kill – Jane Casey

Crime Fiction 5*'s
Crime Fiction
5*’s

Maeve Kerrigan is back and if like me you were eagerly awaiting this episode, you won’t be disappointed. If you haven’t read any of this series yet, you are missing out.

Jane Casey’s books contain a superb array of complex characters, not for her the caricature of a policeman (or woman), mother, schoolteacher or member of a gun club. No, instead the characters have layers, even Josh Derwent, Maeve’s superior officer, who spends most of his time being the most obnoxiously sexist man you’d ever have the misfortune to spend time with, turns everything on its head with a kind word or action where you’d least expect it. Maeve, is a real woman too. Yes she is brave but she has a loving side, she is a good counter-balance to Josh and I love her put-downs, particularly when suffixed with ‘Sir’!

Not only does The Kill have the wonderful array of characters, including those from the previous books but it also has a plot that feels current and fresh. The Police are being targeted by an unknown assassin and the media aided and abetted by a politician trying to make a name for himself are keen to point out that the Metropolitan Police have bought this on themselves when they shot and killed an innocent boy. The boys mother provides a dignified display and brief sound bites to the press, pleading for peace on the streets of London. Jane Casey is careful to give her reader the references to connect to the story, most notably the riots in England in 2011, without ramming the point home. For those of us that watched those very real incidents unfold, that is all that is needed to connect to the fear of what would happen if lawlessness was allowed to go unchecked for any length of time.

But this is fiction, and Josh and Maeve are working, along with the rest of the team, to put the pieces together and find the killer and in the best tradition of a good story, just as you thought it had all been worked out there are some more loose ends to tie up!

I have found all the books in this series compulsive reading, the pace is just right, although like me you may need to forgo so sleep or suffer a racing heart as the killing escalates and the violence seems unstoppable. All this is softened with by the perfect ratio of Police work to personal life, moving the story forward while giving the reader more than just endless action scenes.

I was delighted to receive a copy of this book from Amazon Vine in return for this honest review ahead of the publication date of 5 June 2014.  If this series has passed you by, here is The Maeve Kerrigan Series in order:

The Burning

The Reckoning

The Last Girl

The Stranger You Know

Jane Casey’s debut novel was a stand-alone read The Missing where the police are looking for a missing girl, Jenny. In a strange twist Jenny’s teacher, Sarah Finch knows what the family are going through, her brother also went missing as a child.

Author:

A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

16 thoughts on “The Kill – Jane Casey

  1. Cleo – I couldn’t agree more. This is a terrific series. Quite honestly, to those who are new to it, I would recommend starting at the beginning with The Burning. I think it’s easier to get the most from some story arcs that way. And it’s worth the effort, in my opinion. I like the Maeve Kerrigan character quite a lot, and you’re right; Casey is good at keeping readers in the story until the last page.

    1. Thank you Margot although I must admit to feeling a little tired after staying awake to finish it! This is certainly a series that grows not so much is character definition, which is often the way, but as you say the story arcs are important to this one, and of course you lose them if you don’t start at the beginning.

  2. This does sound good, and you have given me the push I needed to catch up – I’m a book behind. I love Maeve, and she’s believable – which is more than you can say for many fictional policewomen.

    1. You’re so right. One of the reasons I love this book is that I can relate to Maeve, not that I’m brave because I’m not, but because she is believable and can’t hide her feelings from Derwent’s eagle eyes.

  3. Glad you enjoyed it too, and you’re right about the balance between work and personal life. That’s why I’m glad her personal life is kind of normal – she seems much more real because we know she has roots. Excellent review – and roll on the next book… 🙂

    1. I really enjoyed it! I think the fact that she is relatively normal means that I relate to her easily. I’m looking forward to the next one already but Jane Casey said we have to wait a whole year… she blames the publishers 😆

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