Title: Cruel Acts
Author: Jane Casey
Series: Maeve Kerrigan #8
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Leo Stone is a killer. A year ago, he was convicted of murdering two women and sentenced to life without parole. But now, a juror from his trial has revealed the jury was prejudiced, and a retrial is called.
Detectives Maeve Kerrigan and Josh Derwent are tasked with re-examining the evidence. Before long, they uncover links between Stone and a possible third victim.
But with Stone behind bars, a fourth woman disappears in similar circumstances. Is there a copycat killer out there, or have they been wrong about Stone from the start? And will Maeve discover the truth before another innocent victim is killed?
Cruel Acts is a brilliantly written novel featuring Maeve Kerrigan, a strong and likable DS whose working relationship with colleague and sort-of-mentor Josh Derwent is a truly interesting one at times! They clash a LOT, especially when Derwent is poking his nose into Maeve’s business, but it just seems to work – and makes for entertaining reading too!
I really liked that this novel has elements of a cold case in it, by way of exploring Leo Stone’s involvment in the murder of two women – his conviction has been overturned when it was discovered that a juror had looked up details of the case online, pending a retrial which Maeve, Josh and the team need to prepare for… and determine if he acually was guilty. I liked the investigation back into the original case and trial, and the fact that there may have been other women who were victims of Stone but who never came to light as linked to the other cases.
There’s plenty of mystery, drama and tension seamlessly woven into the plot, and some less-than-likable people who make this story all the more convincing (unfortunately!). I really enjoyed the more personal sides to the story with Maeve’s relationship post-Rob, and the detail on how the victim’s families react to Stone’s release (and it’s not always as you might expect!)
Cruel Acts is a solid, truly engaging crime novel, and an addition to a crime series which I haven’t yet read any other books from, but which I definitely will be making a point to from now on!
Many thanks to the HarperCollins UK for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.