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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Kill. Jane Casey. Ebury Press (2014)

Very enjoyable police procedural with am engaging lead character. A police officer is shot in a car in a park  in London and other police officers are attacked. There does not appear to be any connection between the attacks and Detective Constable Maeve Kerrigan and Detective Inspector Josh Derwent have to dig very deep to find the thread that connects everything. The reveals are superbly staged, the investigation is thorough and the dark story emerges in a compelling fashion.
A first person narritive has a considerable burden to manage, the narrator has to emerge clearly and the rest of the cast have to do so as well. There has to be a careful balance between all of the cast so that the full story can be heard by the reader. Maeve Kerrigan is a smart, confident, competent police officer with enough sharp edges to be engaging and without too much baggage to be annoying or distracting. She has the confidence to share the story with her boss, Josh Derwent a man she admires professionally and finds personally annoying. While this is Maeve Kerrigan's story to tell, Josh Derwent emerges as a character in his own right  and an effective and engaging counterweight to Maeve.
Meave Kerrigan is a female lead character in a first person narration story and what is pleasantly striking is is her assured self confidence. The fact that she is female is significant to exactly the right extent, what is more important is that she is competent, forthright and hard working. She has a personal life that is just uncertain enough to provide a dramatic element without it ever undermining her. Josh Derwent appreciates Maeve's professional competence and skills while still being a little uncomfortable at her being female.
Jane Casey fruitfully uses this to create a credible tension and useful friction between the two leads and to use the differences between them to draw in the rest of the cast. One of the significant pleasures of the story is the slow reveal of the cold and clever person at the heart of the trouble, they are substantial enough to provide a real threat and force. First rate crime fiction.

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