Martyn Waites has been one of my favourite crime authors for years and I always pre-order every new novel he brings out. His mix of multiple strong characters plus incredibly accurate descriptions of Tyneside are a winning formula. Sadly last years White Riot, was to me at least, a little below standard but 'Speak No Evil' is back in 5 star territory.
Its an interesting book taking 'Mae Blacklock', a barely disguised version of infamous chil killer Mary Bell, from 'The White Room' and intergrating her into the Donovan series. Donovan is ghost writing her life story but at the same time there are some disturbingly similar child murders happening on the estate where Blacklock is living... is she responsible or being framed? You'll have to buy it to find out!
Its not a bad stand alone novel, but I'd really recommend you read it as part of the Donovan series to fully understand all the references. A re-read of the White Room also helps.
Three subplots run through this Joe Donovan novel, the fourth in the series. The main theme involves a book Joe is to ghostwrite based on interviews with a woman, Ann Marie, who murdered a young boy when she was eleven years old. As the interviews continue, further information concerning additional murders of children over the years after her release from prison raise the possibility that she continues to kill. Meanwhile Joe and his team are attempting to recover his lost son, David.
Intertwined with information about Ann Marie's past and present are current-day occurrences, which tend to complicate and frighten her, so she withholds memories from Joe, especially regarding her son, Jack. While she is attempting to come to terms with her evil deeds, it becomes more and more difficult for her, and finally she has to depend on him for help.
The characters are formidable, the prose penetrating, the pace incessant. Highly recommended.
This is the first book I have read by this author and I enjoyed it tremendously. A woman who killed a child when she was only eleven years old herself and has served years in prison for her crime, decides to tell her story to ex journalist Joe Donovan. But he discovers that wherever she has lived since her release a child has been murdered and each time she relocates to a new area. And when a boy is murdered on her latest estate, even Anne Marie herself cannot be sure she didn't kill him as she suffers from terrible blackouts. Desperate to keep her identity a secret and to protect her young son, this is a thrilling story of both her troubles and those of reporter Donovan. Exciting and deftly plotted it is a brilliant read.