The Official Book Blurb
When your life is a lie, who can you trust?
When Maggie Taylor accepts a new job in Manchester, she is sure it is the right move for her family. The children have settled well although her husband, Duncan, doesn’t appear to be so convinced.
But nothing prepares her for the shock of coming home from work one night to find that Duncan has disappeared, leaving their young children alone. His phone is dead, and she has no idea where he has gone, or why. And then she discovers she’s not the only one looking for him.
When a woman who looks just like Maggie is brutally murdered and DCI Tom Douglas is brought in to investigate, Maggie realises how little she knows about Duncan’s past. Is he the man she loves? Who is he running from?
She doesn’t have long to decide whether to trust him or betray him. Because one thing has been made clear to Maggie – another woman will die soon, and it might be her.
I’ll admit it. I am completely hopeless when it comes to reading books in order. I try (by and large) to do it with series, but very often fail. I’m not averse to starting on a later book and going back to find out what I missed. I sort of did that with the DCI Tom Douglas books by Rachel Abbott, starting with The Back Road, going back to read, Only The Innocent and then Sleep Tight. I recently read (and loved) The Sixth Window, so I thought it only fitting that I went back to fill in the gaps. Only I read the wrong one first (oopsie). But it’s okay because, 1 – it made some sense of a few comments in The Sixth Window and 2 – it’s fluffing fabulous.
I started this book off by listening to the audio book and finished it reading the book. I do enjoy a good audio book and the quality of the narration on this series is very good. However, it is a slower ‘reading’ experience and quite an investment of time and I was desperate to know how this book was going to play out so, as my driving time was for once at a premium, I grabbed for the kindle instead. There is such power in these pages, such a sense of dread, not only from the position Maggie finds herself in and the threat to her own family, but also surrounding a cold case that DCI Douglas was unable to solve which seems to have come back to haunt him in the most personal of ways.
Examining both moral and ethical dilemmas for solicitor Maggie as she is drawn further into her husband’s secret past, this book oozes tension. There are so many times when I felt wrong footed by the action, the facts as they were uncovered both shocking and telling. There is one particularly gruesome scene in which one of the potential victims is punished for trying to escape that really made me wince. It wasn’t necessarily gratuitous in description but it still felt brutal none-the-less and if you have even a small phobia of needles, you may want to skip that scene entirely.
As always, the characterisations within the book is spot on. I love the characters of Tom and Becky and the relationship between them is brilliant, perhaps one of the best Detective duos I have read. Tom is put in an impossible situation in this investigation with the suspicion that the case is becoming altogether too personal. I could really feel for Maggie and the position she was in, but also felt incredibly frustrated that someone with her experience in criminal law would allow herself to be manipulated to easily and would turn away from everything she knew was right for her husband.
Rachel Abbott is very skilled at using pace and setting to direct action. Set in Manchester, the older, derelict parts of the city were used to great effect to depict the desperation and isolation of one of the killer’s potential victims. Even the sense that she was hidden in plain sight added to the tension and the feeling of despair. And she always uses the ebbs and flows of a police investigation to great effect, ramping up pace when the story allows, yet in the quieter moments creating such menace using the simplest of methods, that you are often left on the edge of your seat.
The ending was pitched perfectly as Tom and the team sought to try and prevent one final murder and bring the reign of terror to an end. And the way in which Maggie comes to terms with her husbands past… Well let’s just say he got his just deserts of sorts. And there is still an underlying threat; one thread not quite resolved, so whether or not justice has been served or not is up to the reader to decide.
A very creeping and unnerving 4.5 stars.
Kill Me Again is available to purchase now from the following sites: