The Kill – Jane Casey (Maeve Kerrigan 5)
The Maeve Kerrigan and Josh Derwent series from Jane Casey stands alongside the best of the London-set police procedurals. Indeed, with this fifth, its strength and quality now see other notables only grazing its shoulders. The pack in its punch comes from a backbone of realism, strong and believable characters with ever-changing dynamics in their relationships, and solid character development across the series story arc.
The Kill opens with Kerrigan and Derwent’s team enjoying some rare time out, celebrating a colleague’s wedding in their own individual ways. But the pastures of love, lust and reflection are disrupted when they are called out to the murder of a policeman on the edge of Richmond Park. Clearly a professional hit, there are few clues and leads to follow, and victim Terence Hammond’s life must be pulled apart to find some sort of motive for the crime. Then, with the possibility of a link, the team is re-assigned to investigate another attack, this time the shooting of more officers, in a van on a notorious London estate. Convinced of a connection and anticipating more deaths, the motive remains elusive for Kerrigan, Derwent, their colleagues and their superiors …
Casey’s plot draws from the recent history of the Metropolitan Police and London, with its references to accidental shootings, riots and disorder, and she has clearly had some fun with descriptions of TV celebrity in the opening scenes.
With a limit to the amount of pressure a body can take, some old stresses are forced to the surface to be faced and tackled. Nicely done.