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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Jane Casey had something of a run-away success with her first crime novel, "The Missing". "The Reckoning" is her third published outing and features DC Maeve Kerrigan in a sequel to the earlier "The Burning". This new book offers the same solid writing and story telling as the earlier two but, for me, never really develops the tension and drama of either of them. Also, it gives every impression of being written to a specific size, rather than to the natural length of the material, and doesn't always feel to have sufficient story to fill its 480-odd pages. This would seem to be very much a book written to a publisher's brief.

Fans of Casey's work will no doubt lap this one up too and indeed, there is nothing here substantially to disappoint any avid crime story enthusiast. There are danger signs, though, that this author is running the risk of becoming overly formulaic, which after the promise of her earlier books would be a great shame. Her character portrayals are woefully flat at times; DC Kerrigan has hardly developed at all across the two volumes. I do hope Jane Casey tries her hand at something new in her next book and doesn't become lured into the trap of more-of-the-same-please by a short-sighted publisher looking for a safe market; it would be a crying shame for this much talent to go to waste.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Amazon had The Burning on my recommended list so when this was offered by Amazon Vine I decided to give it a go. I am so pleased I did as it is well written, has good characters and an interesting premise for a crime novel.

When two paedophiles are found dead having clearly been tortured, the police investigate with varying amounts of interest. When a notorious crime boss notifies police that his 14 year old daughter is missing urgent action is required. This is a thrilling book and although there is plenty of violence it is not anywhere near as graphic as some books, which I was grateful for.

There are plenty of twists and turns which kept my interest level high throughout and there is the back story of Maeve Kerrigan, a tall Irish Police Constable, and her budding relationship with a colleague Rob. The ending was as gripping as the rest of the book, I will definitely be ordering Jane Casey's previous books.
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I haven't read Jane Casey's first novel, and her second was nothing special so I'm surprised I found myself buying her third - but from early on and right to the last page, I liked it. Quite a lot, in fact; as Sophie Hannah is quoted on the dust jacket, "It's satisfying" (among other positive comments) and I would agree. Possibly a bit convoluted and probably having one thread too many, but very enjoyable all the same.

Most of the tale is told in the first person through the eyes of DC Maeve Kerrigan, the small remainder through the voice of colleague and on-again/off again lover Rob. That relationship is narrated in too much detail, it seems, until the reader discovers there's a relevant point to it all and not just romance-filler. It's crime fiction in the main though and those crimes are graphic and borderline disturbing, even if the concept is blatantly aimed at those who regard paedophiles as criminals for whom no conventional justice is good or fitting enough even years after their prison time has been served. For the first chunk of the story the reader is led into thinking that retributory paedo-murders are what this story is all about; thankfully there's a lot more to it than that thanks to some key changes in direction that take some weaving together in order to sound feasible but I think the writer pulls it off well.

One of the better elements to this novel's positives is its high standard of character creation and development, a good example being Kerrigan's new partner on London's Metropolitan Police Force, DI Josh Derwent. It's as easy to like him as it is to dislike him - and you're sure to feel one or the other as he's not boring! Other well-drawn characters include Kerrigan's perceived love-rival Liv, her DCS Charlie Godley, and to a lesser extent Rob, the occasional object of Kerrigan's desires.

The writing style is quite good with suitable touches of irony and humour here and there, but at its heart is a thoroughly-researched police procedural with most of the real-life investigative and forensic elements of contemporary policing narrated in convincing detail. The one weakness could be that there's at least one sub-plot too many, and all of these have to find closure leaving the impression that there's one ending too many as a consequence. But none of this detracts from my overall impression, which is that it's at minimum very good and anyone giving it the full beans (5-stars) won't be overdressing it. I'm very glad I bought it and read it.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I enjoyed this book very much. Jane Casey writes very well and is creating what I think will be an enduring series of books starring her heroine PC Maeve Kerrigan.

Here, Kerrigan is part pf a team hunting a serial killer, which is by now a rather tired idea, but Casey's plot takes a couple of unexpected and interesting turns and it felt refreshingly original in places. It's all reasonably plausible, the plot hangs together well and the motives of the various criminals seem believable. Kerrigan is an imperfect but very engaging protagonist and the characters are well-drawn. Her first-person narrative is extremely well written in unpretentious and very readable prose and one of the great strengths of this book is the ease with which the writing carries you along.

There are a couple of flaws. The book could have done with a bit of editing here and there - a wholly unnecessary stalking sub-plot and a very lengthy description of another, completely irrelevant case, for example - and the switch to another voice for a couple of chapters felt rather clumsy and intrusive. However, these are minor niggles; I became very gripped by the book, thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it warmly.
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on 24 August 2011
After all of the positive reviews for The Reckoning, Jane Casey's third novel, I had high hopes for a good read. Unfortunately, by around page 310, I'd finally had enough and decided to abandon my attempt to plough through it.

If you like books where all of the characters fit into a typical predefined stereotype, then The Reckoning is the book for you. Willowy Irish heroine struggling to overcome her sexist police colleagues. Check. Mean and moody love interest. Check. Superior officer who treats the heroine with contempt because she's a woman. Check. Overweight and bigoted colleagues. Present and correct.

The plot itself is slow moving, and as one reviewer has already pointed out, changes part way through to be nothing like the description on the back of the book. These factors, combined with the cardboard characters, meant that I really didn't care how things turned out. There were also a few typos in my copy with words from sentences missing. Lazy to say the least.

While there's lots of great crime fiction out there, plenty of it, like The Reckoning, is simply below par. Avoid.
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VINE VOICEon 28 July 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I chose this book after reading the author's previous novel, The Burning. Whilst I'd quite enjoyed it, it wasn't the best crime thriller I'd ever come across, so I was expecting this one to be of a similar standard. However, I was pleasantly surprised that this book is much better than The Burning, in fact I really enjoyed it.

The story again follows young DC Maeve Kerrigan, who is assigned a case where a convicted paedophile has been horribly tortured and killed. When two more bodies quickly appear, Maeve realises she is dealing with a brutal killer who is targeting child abusers for a specific reason.

Although this is a fairly hefty novel at almost 500 pages, I whizzed through it. Each time I put it down I couldn't wait to continue with the story, which is much faster paced than The Burning, which I found a little slow at times. A lot happens in The Reckoning, in fact the plot is rather intricate, and features a lot of different crimes that are somehow all connected, from rape to kidnap and murder. The story moves a long way from the initial killings to the shocking resolution of Maeve's case. Some of the crimes here are brutal, and I must admit I shuddered a few times.

As well as the murder case, we also see Maeve's fledgling relationship with her colleague Rob Langton develop, although there are a few false starts along the way. Maeve is a great central character for a crime thriller, different from the usual middle aged divorced men or women with young children struggling against the weight of the crimes they investigate. Whilst Maeve finds it hard to deal with some of the crime scenes, she is still young enough to be enthusiastic about her job, and isn't yet fatally jaded like so many literary detectives.

My only, very slight, criticism, is that the whole story is told from Maeve's perspective, except for a couple of chapters very late on that are from Rob's POV. Whilst this is necessary for the plot, as Maeve isn't present at several important moments, it does distract a bit from the story.

I've already ordered Jane Casey's first book on the strength of this one, and look forward to the next one.
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One of the victims as she awakens from a drug induced haze says to the videographer in the opening scene of this novel, " You Are In Really Big Trouble!" And, we follow DC Maeve Kerrigan as she begins the new case involving the brutal murders of paedophiles in London. Maeve is assigned the case with the division's new DI, Josh Derwent, a brash, sexist, obnoxious man. DC Kerrigan feels she must prove that she has what it takes in this man's world.

Jane Casey has written a superb police procedural that includes an ensemble group in the Serious Crime Division. Headed by Superintendent Godley, a man revered by all, he has brought several new people into the group. Maeve Kerrigan has a history with some of the group and to hear it from her viewpoint, we would think she is missing in confidence and wonder how she got as far as she has. As the case proceeds, she shows her intelligence and capabilities, but her lack of confidence is a trait I hope she loses as time goes on. This is a novel of 500 pages, but it is gripping and will keep your interest. There are several plots that intertwine, and the modern day technology takes place in a keen sense.

The many characters involved in the Serious Crime Division and in Maeve's personal life are all well placed. In fact the novel has so many twists and turns and clues that are uncovered that it could well have been two novels. The relationship between Maeve Kerrigan and, colleague Roy Langton, have a prominent place in the novel and set the stage for issues that complicate the relationship. The book is quite realistic, and the crimes and the crime scene are depicted very graphically, abduction, torture and murder. All part of the need to know of the daily life of a London police officer in the Serious Crime Division. So, take warning, the scenes are so graphic you may wince or worse. This series features, DC Maeve Kerrigan and her colleagues. We are beginning to know this group and a fascinating group they are!

Highly Recommended. prisrob 03-27-16
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on 1 June 2015
This was disappointing after the high standard of 'Last Girl' and 'The Burning'. The book gets off to a great start and Maeve's voice comes through loud and clear. She has the usual skirmishes with her senior colleague and romantic intervals with Rob. Maeve tells the story in the first person, but much later in the book Rob steps in and takes over. I found this uncomfortable, and as he seemed to have taken over Maeve's personality, somewhat confusing. If you put the book down for a while and then come back to it, it is hard to tell whether it is Maeve or Rob who is 'speaking'. Obviously writing in the first person has its limitations and sometimes a second character is needed, but in this one was Rob really needed to cover the parts where Maeve was not present and could not put forward her own viewpoint? Surely a little jigging with the plot would have worked as Maeve was there when things happened most of the time. Also when Rob was the narrator, his thoughts and general speech patterns were those of Maeve. This usually takes about 50 years for most couples - and they simply were not old enough!
The introduction of a super crook from the Costa del Crime seemed a little dated. John Skinner had a great reputation apparently but in this his influence was minimal and really unnecessary. Towards the end of the book the plot began to unravel and became unbelievable in places. I could cope with the two brothers, the creepy house, and the dead uncle but the bugging of Maeve's flat simply did not stack up. It was one excess too many.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 August 2011
Not as good as Casey's first book (The Missing) but better, I think, than her second (The Burning) which introduced Maeve Kerrigan. Other reviewers here have already discussed the plot in detail so I won't repeat that. This will appeal to readers who like to get to know the personal side of their police investigators, and who enjoy character development rather than just a to-the-point plot.

I have to say I haven't warmed to Maeve herself: she seems oh-so-predictable to me with her Irish temper, 'feminist' independence, and her snarky reponse to her male colleagues. That said, I really like Rob, her on-off lover, and loved DI Josh Derwent with his complex mix of macho-sexism and old-fashioned, if blunt, integrity.

Some of the plotting feels a bit well-worn: internet grooming, gruesome murders, a Hercule Poirot type trick to uncover the spy in the police team and a ludicrously *massive* coincidence that was flagged a mile off... but that is offset by a narrative with enough twists and turns and some genuine emotion to keep it all buoyant.

Casey writes easily so that everything keeps flowing. There is a slight hiccup where she suddenly has to switch narrators for two chapters and doesn't manage to distinguish the narrators' voices in any way. But despite its flaws this is an easy to read page-turner.
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I enjoyed this book very much. Jane Casey writes very well and is creating what I think will be an enduring series of books starring her heroine PC Maeve Kerrigan.

Here, Kerrigan is part of a team hunting a serial killer, which is by now a rather tired idea, but Casey's plot takes a couple of unexpected and interesting turns and it felt refreshingly original in places. It's all reasonably plausible, the plot hangs together well and the motives of the various criminals seem believable. Kerrigan is an imperfect but very engaging protagonist and the characters are well-drawn. Her first-person narrative is extremely well written in unpretentious and very readable prose and one of the great strengths of this book is the ease with which the writing carries you along.

There are a couple of flaws. The book could have done with a bit of editing here and there - a wholly unnecessary stalking sub-plot and a very lengthy description of another, completely irrelevant case, for example - and the switch to another voice for a couple of chapters felt rather clumsy and intrusive. However, these are minor niggles; I became very gripped by the book, thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it warmly.
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