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The Murder Wall by Mari Hannah - Review

Thursday, March 17, 2022


I heard about this book somewhere (possibly Twitter), thought it sounded good, and added it to my wishlist. My aunt then sent me it for my birthday, and as I'm trying to read all the books I was gifted in a timely manner, I got to it in the middle of February. It's one of a series featuring a detective called Kate Daniels. It's set in Newcastle, which I liked. Kate has her underlings, as all detectives do, including Hank Gormley, who I did like, and Lisa Carmichael, who again I liked and was pleased when she did well. She is close to her superior, DCI Bright. Bright has a wife who is disabled after a car accident, and I didn't like how this was portrayed (it was as if Stella had no quality of life now she was disabled...). He also comes on to Kate at one point, which I really didn't like. 

At the beginning of the book Kate is travelling to a church to light a candle for her deceased mother, on Christmas Eve. When she gets to the church she is shocked to find the body of a young girl and the body of the parish priest. He has a prayer card next to him, which Kate finds odd. She follows some leads but ultimately comes up blank. The murders remain unsolved. 

Eleven months later, a man called Alan Stephens has been shot dead in his flat. His second wife has an alibi of being at the airport with a friend, but his first wife, Jo, and his sons don't have alibis. Stephens raped Jo and is estranged from both his sons, so they all have motives for killing him. The problem is that Jo is a psychiatrist who has worked with the police, so she's friendly with them. Furthermore Jo and Kate had a relationship, which Kate wants to keep hidden from all her colleagues. But the net is closing around Jo despite anything Kate does. 

Plus there's also some issue with Stephens and the Assistant Chief Constable, which I utterly didn't understand and couldn't find it in myself to care about. I found the book quite baffling entirely, actually - there's far too many people to keep all the names straight, and a few subplots that I couldn't get on board with. I did like the resolution of the book, but due to the confusing nature I wouldn't read anything else by the same author. I'm giving it three out of five. 

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