‘The Stranger You Know’ by Jane Casey

The Stranger You KnowDetective Maeve Kerrigan has a strained relationship with her boss – the chauvinistic, obnoxious, but occasionally charming DCI Josh Derwent. But when a recent spate of murders in London starts throwing up parallels to the murder of Dewent’s girlfriend twenty years earlier, it soon becomes clear that her superiors suspect that he might have a darker side.

Despite being under strict instructions not to talk to Derwent about the details of their current investigation, Maeve finds herself increasingly torn between following orders and allowing Derwent to help her in her attempts to find out what really happened to his girlfriend all those years ago.

Although Maeve doesn’t believe Derwent capable of killing, the cases throw up more and more disturbing similarities. As more bodies are discovered, and the cold case brings old feelings to the surface, Maeve becomes increasingly unsure if she really knows her colleague at all.

It’s an engrossing, fast paced read that kept me gripped the whole way through. It’s full of red herrings, hidden motives and unexpected twists and it kept me guessing right up until the end – just the way a detective novel should!

Maeve’s a great character – and I really enjoyed reading a crime novel seen through the eyes of a rookie cop at the bottom of the murder squad totem pole. Too often this type of book is presided over by a jaded, worn down police boss with a dark past. By contrast, Maeve’s enthusiasm and ambition shine through and give this series a fresh new feel and perspective.

This is the fourth in a series of novels featuring Maeve Kerrigan, but I picked it up and thoroughly enjoyed it without having read any of the previous novels, so it works equally well as a stand-alone novel. Because it’s well written, it’s easy to pick up on the relationships between the characters and there’s enough explanation about what’s happened before to make sure newcomers to the story are caught up. Having said that, I’ve already read the fifth in the series and I’m planning on going back to read the previous three as soon as I can!

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