The Kill by Jane Casey – a review

I should start this review with a bit of a caveat. I’m completely biased about this book having had the great pleasure of sitting next to Jane Casey at this year’s murder mystery dinner at the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival. It was a lovely evening, with a great bunch of people on our table and therefore I really wanted to love this book.
Unfortunately that brings me to my second caveat. I was halfway through reading this when we went on holiday, and due to being lucky enough to own the hard copy of the book I decided to leave it behind whilst I went on my jaunt. Therefore I picked it up, three books and two weeks later, to try and remember where I’d left off. Obviously as I’m not known for my great memory this did cause some confusion.
The Kill starts with a group of police officers, including Maeve Kerrigan at a wedding party. They find out that a fellow officer has been killed. This starts a wave of police killings which Kerrigan and her boss Josh Derwent are desperate to solve, however they are soon in fear for their lives.
This was the first of the Maeve Kerrigan series that I’ve read, which combined with the fact I stopped half way through did mean I struggled with the plot a bit. However overall I’m pleased to say this was a good read. Although it is the third in the series, the novel works as a standalone story, I didn’t get the impression I was missing out on lots of background information. I enjoyed the mix of police action and the relationships between Maeve and her rather unpleasant boyfriend, as well as senior officers. I can’t say I particularly warmed too many of the characters except Maeve, although I enjoyed the fact that the characters weren’t one dimensional. They could spend half the book acting like complete idiots and then suddenly turn round and actually be quite nice, which is a pretty human trait.
The story itself was interesting, and the concept of the police being under attack, and the motives behind it were good. I especially liked the contemporary setting of the novel, with references to real world events such as the riots in 2011. When the policeman is found dead at the start of the novel, local politicians are soon quick to put the blame on the fact that allegedly the police shot an innocent boy.
Overall I enjoyed this book, despite the second half taking a bit of getting back into and would be keen to try the series from the start as I have a suspicion that if I started at the beginning this is a series that would really grow on me.

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Filed under book review, Theakstons Festival

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