"A dark and smart page-turner." -The New York Times
In this gripping debut procedural, a young London policewoman must probe dark secrets buried deep in her own family’s past to solve a murder and a long-ago disappearance.
Twenty-six-year-old Cat Kinsella overcame a troubled childhood to become a Detective Constable with the Metropolitan Police Force, but she’s never been able to banish these ghosts. When she’s called to the scene of a murder in Islington, not far from the pub her estranged father still runs, she discovers that Alice Lapaine, a young housewife who didn’t get out much, has been found strangled.
Cat and her team immediately suspect Alice’s husband, until she receives a mysterious phone call that links the victim to Maryanne Doyle, a teenage girl who went missing in Ireland eighteen years earlier. The call raises uneasy memories for Cat—her family met Maryanne while on holiday, right before she vanished. Though she was only a child, Cat knew that her charming but dissolute father wasn’t telling the truth when he denied knowing anything about Maryanne or her disappearance. Did her father do something to the teenage girl all those years ago? Could he have harmed Alice now? And how can you trust a liar even if he might be telling the truth?
Determined to close the two cases, Cat rushes headlong into the investigation, crossing ethical lines and trampling professional codes. But in looking into the past, she might not like what she finds. . . .
Det. Constable Cat Kinsella, the heroine of British author Frear's taut, psychologically twisted debut, always suspected that her father, Michael McBride, knew more than he let on about the disappearance of Maryanne Doyle, a teenager who went missing in 1998 when eight-year-old Kinsella and her family were on vacation in Mulderrin, Ireland. For one thing, Michael, a serial adulterer, was seen with Maryanne but later lied to the police about having had any contact with her. In 2016, Alice Lapaine, a part-time pub chef, is found murdered near the London pub frequented by Kinsella's father. While working the case, Kinsella and her partner, Det. Sgt. Luigi Parnell, draw a frustrating blank around Alice's life, and even her less-than-forthcoming husband, Thomas, is a weak suspect at best, until a routine DNA test reveals startling connections to the Doyle investigation. Kinsella knows she must tread carefully with this new information and decide how much, if any, of her own sordid family history she wants to make public. As the case takes its own twists and unexpected turns, just as fascinating are the mental gymnastics that Kinsella performs in an effort to keep her personal and professional lives from colliding. Readers will root for the spiky Kinsella, with her empathetic center, and hope to see more of her in future books.
Clever & Well Done
I’ve read plenty of crime novels, but this one truly kept me guessing until the end. Just when I think I’ve figured it out - there’s a new twist. Cat and her team at MIT4 are quite funny (maybe cause I’m from the States and I appreciate the British and Iris humor more) and help balance out the darkness of the plot. Overall, a very enjoyable read! Looking forward to the next in the series.