I was looking forward to reading this book, as I have read Jane Casey's previous two crime fiction novels and enjoyed them both. This is the second to feature DC Maeve Kerrigan and the various characters on the police team she works on and I can certainly see more to come featuring Maeve. The book is fairly chunky, but I found myself moving through it at quite a pace, especially as there are more than a few cliff-hanger endings to chapters.
The unsavoury issues covered in this book are many; initially we have the torture and murder of paedophiles, but this aspect of the story is over way before the half way mark, after which a bigger picture is revealed. We then go on to abduction of minors, imprisonment and gangland killings to name but a few. These are not subject matters for the faint hearted, but the violence is not gratuitous and the human implications of these subjects are brought home.
My only criticism (and this is minor) relates to Kerrigan herself, she is a likeable and believable heroine but the protracted periods of self-doubt grated at times. It is obvious she is a talented and beautiful woman, respected by her colleagues, but her lack of self esteem didn't need to be hammered as firmly home as it was at times. The portrayal of the turmoil of her on-off relationship with Rob Langton is convincingly portrayed though.
As is often the case with these crime and police fiction, the plot twists and turns are at times incredulous and at others predictable, but Jane Casey is not too guilty of this. The loose ends are neatly tied up at the end of the book and the case infiltrating Maeve's personal life was inevitable, but the fleshing out of the various characters on Maeve's team; Langton, Godley, Liv and Derwent especially, make this a group of people you feel you know and I'm sure we'll be seeing more of them in the future.