By book five in this series featuring DI Marnie Rome you’d have thought I could come up with something a little more eloquent than ‘even better than the last one,’ but I can’t – and it is. I do love books that can be read on more than one level, and Sarah Hilary has produced just such a book in Come and Find Me.
For those that haven’t followed the series DI Marnie Rome is a single-minded police officer, scarred and yet spurred on to deliver justice by the murder of her parents by her younger foster brother Stephen. We have seen her battle Stephen for the truth of why he did it to no real avail and now, there has been a riot at the prison where Stephen is being held.
Michael Vokey the man at the centre of the riot has disappeared leaving in his wake a trail of destruction with several prisoners in hospital and the rest seemingly mute on the subject. As Michel Vokey was imprisoned for an assault on a young woman with her child present, DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake are on the team to find him and put him back behind bars but they are struggling to find leads.
In between the police investigation we hear the thoughts from one of the prisoners, in a coma in hospital. His appreciation for the nurse who cleans him and cares for him despite the fact that he is in fact chained to the bed, in a room by himself. These excerpts slowly build into a picture of not only what happened the day of the riot, but the events that led up to it.
The most obvious theme in this book is that of obsession. We have DI Marni Rome’s obsession with her brother, the women who wrote to Michael Vokey display another type of obsession as does the prison officer who was unwisely interviewed about the riot. But the other theme is the relationship between mothers and their sons, and vice versa. This is an interesting one as the mothers and sons who fall into this category are all varied and yet they have something in common. In addition to that the book once again turns to the reality of a psychopath, a man (or woman) with some part of their personality missing, someone who has to learn how to behave by copying others. All fascinating stuff, well-developed enough on the page to make the reader think, but in no way presented as a lecture, my favourite type of reading matter.
All of the themes are only possible because of the depth of characterisation that Sarah Hilary provides. These are real people, we may not like many of them, but it’s hard to ignore the prospect that they could exist. The author goes out of her way with the descriptions of prison to lump all prisoners into one easy bucket, there are nuances to their behaviour, and offending, that raises this author’s work head and shoulders above much of the competition. This is crime fiction with a level of complexity that makes for really satisfying reading.
I’d like to thank the publishers Headline for allowing me to read a copy of Come and Find Me prior to publication on 22 March 2018. This review is my unbiased thanks to them and to Sarah Hilary for another riveting tale.
Previous books in the DI Marnie Rome Series: