THE DEATH MESSENGER by Mari Hannah

THE DEATH MESSENGER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Two British detectives team up to investigate four murders in Northumbria, Scotland, and Denmark in this European police-procedural thriller.

Detective Superintendent Eloise O'Neil and DS Matthew Ryan investigate a bloody crime scene, where they find a woman's blood and an expensive men's shoe but no victim. At a second scene, they discover more blood, which matches that of Leonard Maxwell, Lord Trevathan, a missing judge. Both scenes and two others are believed to be linked, as they appear in DVDs sent to the police, presumably by the killer, whom O'Neil and Ryan call "Spielberg." The investigation is overshadowed by O'Neil's turf war with Nicholas Ford, a civilian bureaucrat who O'Neil believes is a misogynist, and O'Neil and Ryan's personal relationship, which consists of bickering and flirting, secret-keeping (O'Neil), romantic fantasizing (Ryan), and, ultimately, a chaste kiss on the head. The pace is slow in Hannah's eighth novel as O'Neil and Ryan struggle to discover any evidence, leads, or suspects. Instead, they drive, talk to each other, stop to admire the view on their way to a crime scene, and pop into a pub for a drink on their way to interview a prime suspect. O'Neil's secret turns out to be relatively mundane and not directly related to the crimes. Spielberg's motive for the murders isn't entirely credible, and when the killer's identity is at last discovered, no one seems to care that much.

An intriguing premise devolves into a so-so thriller that's more about in-fighting and time-wasting than mystery, danger, or peril.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-250-11881-3
Page count: 448pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2018




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