I remember after I had read the first title by this author, The Missing, I posted that I had enjoyed it but felt the ending was a bit rushed and not very believable. I then received an email from Jane Casey thanking me for my review though it 'made me wince a bit'. Of course, I was then stricken with guilt and so glad the following year when her second title came out and I loved it and was able to give it a glowing review. I know critics in papers and seasoned reviewers are there to criticise and are qualified to do so, but as a book blogger I want to write about books I have really enjoyed and would like others to read. Hence, no negative reviews here (there has been the odd one when I have really disliked a book but they are very few) and no chance of anything bad being said about After the Fire by Jane Casey.
It is a cracking read and once more we meet Maeve Kerrigan and her partner Josh Derwent. I admit to a bit of a crush on Josh. He is an unreconstructed male, chauvinistic and sarcastic but over the series, though he won't admit it, he has softened towards Maeve and cares for her. In After the Fire Maeve is close to a breakdown as her stalker has not given up his relentless pursuit and seems to know where she is and what she is doing at all times. She is being kept from going over the edge by Josh in his own brusque way.
She certainly needs her wits about her after two bodies are found in an 11th floor flat after a fire has ripped through a North London tower block. But the third body is that of a controversial MP, Geoff Armstrong who, trapped by the fire, preferred to jump to his death than be discovered in such a place. And, indeed, the police want to know what this right wing politician was doing in this deprived estate.
Narrative drive is excellent and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. As Jane is married to a criminal barrister she has access to inside knowledge into the world of urban crime and her police procedural details are spot on. This is a simply terrific book with lots of twists and turns, culminating in a face off with Maeve's faceless stalker; we also see a softer side to Josh and another character, Una Birt, not one of Derwent's greatest fans, but a good detective who Maeve is beginning to appreciate and it will keep you turning the pages until the very end.
Great read and I am so hoping that Josh and Maeve get together as her boyfriend has dumped her and left her bereft. She is far too good for him but when I tweeted Jane about the possibility of a future relationship, she said that she had lots of readers saying Don't do it! Ah well...
If I was giving stars then this is a definite Five Star read.
Already looking forward to the next one.