The Cutting Place is the ninth novel in the Maeve Kerrigan crime series, which is one of my favorites. Jane Casey’s writing is a cut above, so to speak, that of the usual crime series.
As this installment begins, Maeve and her partner Josh Derwent are called to the shores of the Thames, where deliberately dismembered body parts have washed up. Thanks to DNA, the team is able to identify the parts as having belonged to a young woman, Paige Hargreaves, and they set out to determine why she was killed. It turns out she was a reporter working on an exposé of a private and secretive London club for extremely wealthy men. As one of Paige’s friends explains to Maeve, there was a culture of silence about the Chiron Club and no one had ever succeeded in breaking it. Paige had been convinced that something sinister was going on there.
Indeed there was, as we learn in alternate chapters narrated by a member of the club.
But Maeve’s investigation isn’t the only source of danger to her in this book, as a shocking development puts her life on the line.
Evaluation: Jane Casey’s writing skill is impressive, in this case spotlighting abuse of and violence towards women with sensitivity and awareness of the complex array of factors that lead to women getting into bad situations. The murder team is a mix of deeply layered characters who seem quintessentially human; you feel as if you have met all of them before. As usual, I can’t wait to see what happens next to the recurring characters.
Published by HarperCollins, 2020