This is the seventh in the series featuring Maeve Kerrigan and they continue to get better and better. I liked the first two, then I loved the next two, then I was totally hooked and adored the last two.
This was sent to me by Jane Casey's wonderful publishers who always indulge my importuning and wheedling for books and I am perennially grateful to them. In Let the Dead Speak Maeve is now newly promoted which means that she is now superior in grade to her partner, Josh Derwent. Josh is an Unreconstructed Male - he is rude, sexist, abrasive, takes no prisoners and puts the back up of their boss Una Burt who would love to see the back of him but he manages to checkmate her every maneouvre to be rid of him. He is also a softie underneath, not that he allows anybody to know this, except perhaps Maeve and their relationship has developed beautifully over the series. I love him.
So the story. Eighteen year old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home after cutting short her weekend with her father and stepmother. She arrives and finds the house covered in blood and Kate, her mother, gone. There is no sign of a body yet everything points to a murder having taken place.
There are some seriously creepy people living in this road including a member of a religious sect with his cowed wife and teenager daughter who was friends with Chloe and clearly is hiding something. A suspected murderer lives up the road - all signs point to him committing this earlier crime but no evidence to prove it. Then it appears that Kate, the presumed victim, has been entertaining male callers while her daughter is away and the list of suspects widens.
I am not going to go into the in and outs and twists and turns of this terrific book as I do not want to give even the slightest hint of who dunnit and no wish to spoil it for you. It is multilayered, intricate plotting (you will need to have your wits about you) and, as ever, though the murder is the reason for the story, it is the relationship between Maeve and Josh that fascinates. He clearly cares for her and she for him, though she was dumped rather nastily by a previous partner and is pretty wary of getting involved and she would rather die than admit that she feels anything. But we readers are not fooled....
Oh and do not fail to read to the very last word on the very last page. Once you have read this then you will know why I am telling you this.
Great stuff and my only complaint is that Jane Casey only produces one book a year. Surely she can manage two?