This is book three in a reliably rewarding police procedural series, set in London, and featuring Maeve Kerrigan, an Irish female trying her best to make her way in a British male world.
Maeve, 28, is a Detective Constable in the London Met, serving on the Murder Squad. One of the few women, she is partnered with Josh Derwent, who flaunts sexism as a matter of pride. Still, Josh is smart, dedicated, and getting fonder of Maeve in spite of his best intentions not to do so. Maeve too, although she calls Josh “a liability at the best of times and a pain in the arse at all times,” works well with Josh and begrudgingly cares about his welfare.
Maeve’s true love though, is Rob Langton, a former member of her unit who switched to The Flying Squad (a high-pressure robbery team) so that he could maintain his relationship with Maeve. They live together, but still have a lot to overcome, such as their demanding jobs with work at all hours; Maeve’s fear of caring more about a man than he cares about her; and Rob’s fear of losing Maeve.
And this being a police procedural, there is a crime that sets all the relationship issues in stark relief. The wife and daughter of a high-profile criminal defense attorney have been murdered. As with Casey’s other books, the crime here is many-layered and interesting, and sheds an intriguing light on human behavior under all sorts of circumstances.
In this book, too, we learn more about Superintendent Charles Godley, for whom Maeve has felt something bordering on hero-worship.
Evaluation: The Maeve Kerrigan series has become one of my favorites. Maeve is young enough to be a mix of all sorts of competing but complementary aspects: idealistic and deferential as much as she can be, but defiant and brave when she needs to be, and just so good-natured in spite of the challenges from the outside and her insecurities on the inside that you can’t help but care for her. The characters are incredibly likeable as well, warts and all, and the crime aspect of the books are much more intellectually stimulating than most other series.
Published in the UK by Ebury Press, an imprint of Ebury Publishing, a Random House Group Company, 2012