Catch up time now. Review a book or two Elaine. Always a good idea on a book blog. So here goes with two brill thrillers read in the last week.
The second book by this author featuring DC Maeve Kerrigan, determined to make her mark and be a good detective but having to put up with a lot of prejudice and sexism from some of her colleagues. I very much enjoyed the previous one in the series, The Burning, so was pleased when this one arrived and settled down with cup of coffee and cushion on the sofa. Two bodies have been found and it is clear that they have been tortured before being killed. All pretty gruesome and very few clues and nobody is particularly eager to help the police track down the killers when it is clear that the two murdered men were convicted paedophiles. DC Kerrigan still feel that murder is murder no matter what the sins of the victim and there is doubt that one of the victims might have been wrongly convicted. Then a third body turns up and a pattern begins to emerge and not the one the reader is first led to believe when a high profile gangster is caught at the murder scene. He has returned to this country to find his daughter who has gone missing and when DC Kerrigan, working with a new boss DI Josh Derwent, tracks down another girl who had also vanished some time ago and there appears to be a link, she is soon hot on the trail.
The characters are settling in nicely now in this series. Maeve is nervous of becoming too close to her colleague Rob Langton, he is scared of commitment as are all fictional police officers it seems, and is now teamed with an abrasive new boss and has to come to terms with his attitude towards women cops. Once again you think same old, same old but I think that when reading detective stories this is something that we have to accept as, quite frankly, I think that being a cop must make you wary of forming a relationship with the stresses and strains that the job entails, and sexism is still rife in the police force as we well know.
A tight, pacy thriller which I can recommend. Jane Casey is hitting her stride now with this series and I am hoping there are more to come.
The author has written seven psychological thrillers featuring Erica Falck and Patrik Hedstrom, this being the fifth published in translation in the UK, so I know there is at least another two awaiting me which is always a good thought.
I love all of these books and enjoy them more each time because, as well as getting to know the background of the regular characters, I am finding the stories gaining in authority and interest at each title. At the end of the last book, The Gallows Bird, we were left with a cliff hanger when Patrik's new wife, Erika, finds some of her mother's diaries in a trunk in the attic and a German Iron Cross, all wrapped round a bloodstained baby's shirt. In The Hidden Child she starts to investigate her mother's childhood and teenage years and, naturally, uncovers more than she bargained for. Erika takes the Iron Cross to a retired history teacher who is an expert on the Second World War and a few days later he is dead.
As ever, difficult to say anything more without giving away the plot and I certainly don't want to do that as I think this is one of the best of the Lackberg titles and a twist at the end caught me on the hop.
In The Gallows Bird, the chief in charge of the police in Ystad, Mellberg, always glad to palm off work on his subordinates but take the glory for himself, the owner of an awful comb over, was taken for a ride by a woman he met in a club and ended up feeling deflated and miserable. He has been through a lot, Melberg, discovering he had a son who he had not seen for years and gradually forging a relationship with him, and he is gradually being humanised and I have developed a sneaking fondness for him. In The Hidden Child, he adopts a stray dog and finds that this leads to a meeting with another dog owner who happens to be the mother of his new detective, Paul Morales and it is all rather delightful and provides a counterbalance to the increasingly murky and unpleasant facts being unearthed in the search for the murderer.
I think this is her best yet and, as ever, I end up saying how much I am looking forward to the next one. And I should not end this review without mentioning the translator, Tiina Nunnally, who does a terrific job.
OK two down and more to go, including the new Ruth Rendell, which I have just finished but that is for another day as I am now going to concentrate on listening to Test Match Special where England are on the verge of winning the Third Test and will then be the No 1 Cricket Team in the World, and I tell you now after watching cricket for the last thirty years and seeing us at our worse in the 70s and 80s, are thrilled to bits with the way we are playing now.