Track a stalker. Catch a killer. The Death Messenger is a tense police procedural following The Silent Room in the thrilling Matthew Ryan series by Mari Hannah.
When a mysterious DVD is delivered to Northumbria Police Headquarters, DS Matthew Ryan and Detective Superintendent Eloise O’Neil are among the few to view its disturbing content. With little to go on the only lead comes from the anonymous and chilling woman’s voice narrating the blood-soaked lock-up depicted on screen.
But with no victim visible, nor any indication of where the unidentifiable crime scene is located, Ryan and O’Neil get the distinct feeling someone is playing with them. What is certain is that the newly formed special unit has just taken on its first challenging case.
As further shocking videos start arriving at police stations around the country, the body count rises. But what connects all the victims? And why are they being targeted? As the investigation deepens, the team is brought to breaking point as secrets from the past threaten to derail their pursuit of a merciless killer . .
In Hannah's underwhelming sequel to 2018's The Silent Room, Det. Supt. Eloise O'Neil, the new head of a powerful special ops unit, chooses Det. Sgt. Matthew Ryan to be a part of her team. A disturbing DVD, narrated by a woman, is sent anonymously to Northumbria police headquarters, depicting a bloody crime scene but with no victim in sight. Sussex Police HQ has also received a similar DVD. Days later, one victim, judge Leonard Maxwell, Lord Trevathan, is pulled from Scotland's River Tay. As more DVDs arrive, the pressure mounts on O'Neil and Ryan. O'Neil will need Ryan's penchant for bucking the system, since this clever and motivated killer shows no signs of slowing down. The dialogue-heavy narrative does quite a bit of telling, but not much showing, which is a shame, because the set pieces staged by the killer are genuinely creepy. The uneven pace dampens suspense, and a drawn-out denouement stretches credulity. Hannah is still learning her craft, and hopefully will do better next time.