Title: Let The Dead Speak
Author: Jane Casey
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
When eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home she finds her mother missing, the house covered in blood. Everything points to murder, except for one thing: there’s no sign of the body.
London detective Maeve Kerrigan and the homicide team turn their attention to the neighbours. The ultra-religious Norrises are acting suspiciously; their teenage daughter and Chloe Emery definitely have something to hide. Then there’s William Turner, once accused of stabbing a schoolmate and the neighborhood’s favorite criminal. Is he merely a scapegoat, or is there more behind the charismatic facade?
As a body fails to materialize, Maeve must piece together a patchwork of testimonies and accusations. Who is lying, and who is not? And soon Maeve starts to realize that not only will the answer lead to Kate Emery, but more lives may hang in the balance.
With Let the Dead Speak, Jane Casey returns with another taut, richly drawn novel that will grip readers from the opening pages to the stunning conclusion.
As someone who hasn’t read any of the other books in the Maeve Kerrigan series, I was approaching Let The Dead Speak with completely fresh eyes, hoping to judge it as a standalone book in its own right. I have to say, I LOVED this book and am so glad I gave it a go – I only wish I hadn’t waited this long to read it!
As this was my first encounter with Maeve Kerrigan I wasn’t sure if I’d warm to her, but she is truly a great character; sharp, witty, prone to rash decisions (but most fictional Detectives seem to be!) but with a heart of gold. However she’s not perfect, which I like – she seems to really dislike new recruit Georgina and doesn’t seem to try and hide it. I liked her no-nonsense attitude and loved her relationship with Derwent – they are great to read about as a pair and I found some of their interactions really comical. Derwent himself seems like a likeable, if grumpy and irritating, character and his dry humour made me laugh at various points. Great characters are what I feel elevates a crime novel from good to great – and Jane Casey has certainly managed that with Let The Dead Speak!
The storyline itself is so well written – tightly plotted and believable but whilst still retaining plenty of drama and tension. It really keeps you guessing – packed full of characters who you constantly wander about (not about the police themselves, just the civilians!)… and with very good reason! There’s plenty going on in the neighbourhood where Kate Emery has gone missing and where the investigation is taking place, and everyone seems to have something to hide. It throws up plenty of questions and kept me completely enthralled, racing through the novel in no time at all. What a brilliant read – bring on the rest of the series!