Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Murder in Slow Motion – Rebecca Muddiman

Crime Fiction
4*s

Andrew returns home to find his partner Katy missing. The last text he had received was to let him know that she was visiting their neighbour. When he goes to find her there is nobody there but blood has been spilt. When DI Michael Gardner and DS Nicola Freeman talk to him they are inclined to think he is panicking unnecessarily despite the fact that the once confident Katy has recently been made redundant and seemingly doesn’t go anywhere. To find Katy they have to find her friends but that’s easier said than done when a person’s life has contracted to be contained within four walls.

The pair soon realise that one half of the neighbouring couple is also a police officer Dawn Lawson and she called in sick and no-one, including her boyfriend knows where she is either.

This is an incredibly claustrophobic novel and one where DI Gardner is so fired up by Dawn’s disappearance he often almost forgets that Katy is also missing. With the subject matter focussing on domestic abuse it is also a book that makes the reader think. Yes, we are in 2018 and domestic abuse is no longer the hidden subject it once was but this book shows us the different forms that it can take and of course, the effects it can have on the victim. It is also a sad reflection of the way that even though violent rows are overheard by others living nearby few take any action at all.

So the book has a big ‘issue’ but it is also a police procedural, albeit one where DI Gardner stretches the bounds of the law to the nth degree to ensure that he gets to the bottom of the women’s disappearance. As the investigation intensifies we see that both women had secrets and their lives from the outside were not at all like the reality.

There is plenty of action but overall this is a thoughtful book. The key drivers are the personalities, of Gardner and Freeman whose relationship is easily familiar although with a hint of irritation about their differences. But it is the supporting cast, the ones off page whose personalities intrigue us just as much. What did the shy Katy share with Dawn, or was it the other way around? Surely it can’t be a coincidence that they both have vanished at the same time? Their partners are also in the spotlight although neither can be placed at anything like the scene of the (almost) non-existent crime. Our pair of detectives have to work hard to sort this puzzle out.

I have enjoyed the two previous books I read in this series and have vowed to get around to the missing third episode. Fortunately they do work as standalones because like a lot of my favourite these contemporary writers, Rebecca Muddiman manages to give a different ‘feel’ to all her books despite keeping the key characters in place. This is definitely a police procedural that is as much about the why as the who.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to the author who provided me with a copy of Murder in Slow Motion – sorry it took me so long to get around to reading the book and writing this unbiased review.

First Published UK: 25 February 2018
Publisher: Independently Published
No of Pages: 388
Genre: Crime Fiction Series
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Books in the Gardner & Freeman Series

Stolen
Gone
Tell Me Lies

Author:

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

9 thoughts on “Murder in Slow Motion – Rebecca Muddiman

  1. Sounds interesting. I guess even though we’re all more open about domestic violence these days, it’s still quite hard for neighbours to know what to do, unless they’re 100% sure of what’s going on…

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  2. This does sound intriguing, Cleo. And I like that suspense strategy of adding a claustrophobic feel to the whole thing. It sounds very timely, too, which adds to a story.

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  3. I like the sound of this one and sort of remember your reviews of other books by this author. By the way, when I went on Amazon to look and see if we had the book available here, there’s a quote from ‘Cleopatra Loves Books’ in the blurb info. It’s from a review of a previous book I’d guess. Anyway, thought I would tell you how famous you are here! Ha! Well done. And I don’t mean to make light of the topic of domestic abuse you mentioned. It is definitely real and always has been.

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  4. Great review! Now I want to read more. Thanks for sharing, and reminding us how books can reflect life and all the issues we might not want to see. That bit about neighbors hearing but doing nothing is definitely a sad commentary on our world.

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  5. I could definitely get behind this book! Although I have to disagree with one part of your review (the rest was fabulous)-I think domestic abuse is actually more hidden then ever because people barely talk to their neighbors anymore. Our lives are so insular, it’s easier to ‘hide’ these abusive situations from the outside world.

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