The case that will make Detective Antoinette Conway's murder squad career. Or break it.
There's the murder squad you set your sights on, back at the beginning of your career: the one where you're playing knife-edge mind-games with psychopathic geniuses. And there's the one you actually work on. The night shifts. The vicious pranks that go too far. Sifting the dregs for the case that might just be special.
Tonight's case isn't it. Uniforms call it in as a slam-dunk domestic. Except when Conway takes a good look at the victim's face, she realises she's seen her somewhere before. And she knows there's a different answer. And it takes her breath away.
This is the case she imagined. Precision-cut and savage, lithe and momentous.
Det. Antoinette Conway takes center stage in Edgar-winner French's sharp but shakily paced sixth Dublin Murder Squad novel (after 2014's The Secret Place). When Aislinn Murray, a young woman just coming into her own, is found in her picture-perfect apartment with the back of her head smashed in, the killer appears to be her new boyfriend, Rory Fallon, who was due to come over for dinner the evening of her murder. But that's too easy for the suspicious Conway, whose hackles are raised when a more experienced detective takes an interest in the case and wants Rory charged. In several tense interrogation scenes, Rory's sweat practically drips off the page, and it's obvious why Conway, the only woman on the squad, is so good at her job. French is less adept than usual, however, in weaving in her main characters' backstories. The underlying themes of loyalty and how far one should go to protect a person are what makes this entry worthy of French's prodigious talents, though Conway isn't her best conduit.