#BookReview - Soot by Andrew Martin

York, 1799.

In August, an artist is found murdered in his home - stabbed with a pair of scissors. Matthew Harvey's death is much discussed in the city. The scissors are among the tools of his trade - for Harvey is a renowned cutter and painter of shades, or silhouettes, the latest fashion in portraiture. It soon becomes clear that the murderer must be one of the artist's last sitters, and the people depicted in the final six shades made by him become the key suspects. But who are they? And where are they to be found?

Later, in November, a clever but impoverished young gentleman called Fletcher Rigge languishes in the debtor's prison, until a letter arrives containing a bizarre proposition from the son of the murdered man. Rigge is to be released for one month, but in that time, he must find the killer. If he fails, he will be incarcerated again, possibly for life.

And so, with everything at stake, and equipped only with copies of the distinctive silhouettes, Fletcher Rigge be…

Book Review- Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey


In the chilling new crime novel from award-winning author Jane Casey, Detective Maeve Kerrigan and the murder squad must navigate a web of lies to discover the truth…

A murder without a body
Eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home one day to find the house covered in blood and Kate, her mother, gone. There may not be a body, but everything else points to murder.

A girl too scared to talk
Maeve Kerrigan is young, ambitious and determined to prove she’s up to her new role as detective sergeant. She suspects Chloe is holding something back, but best friend Bethany Norris won’t let Maeve get close. What exactly is Bethany protecting Chloe from?

A detective with everything to prove
As the team dig deeper into the residents of Valerian Road, no one is above suspicion. All Maeve needs is one person to talk, but that’s not going to happen. Because even in a case of murder, some secrets are too terrible to share.

Let the Dead Speak is actually the seventh Maeve Kerrigan book, and true to form the first I have read. Thankfully it mostly works well as a stand alone book but I did feel I would have benefitted from knowing more about the history of Maeve and her fellow officers, particularly Josh Derwent, so if possible I would recommend reading the books in order if you can. However, this is still a fantastically gripping novel and has persuaded me to read the rest of the series.
The mystery itself rests on the copious amount of blood discovered by Chloe Emery in her home. The police quickly determine that this much blood loss has to mean a murder, and yet there is no body. Chloe's mum, Kate is missing so is she the victim and how are the police going to investigate when it seems that everybody they speak to is holding something back? Let the Dead Speak is a terrific police procedural for anybody who enjoys a thriller with a compelling mystery. It combines a strong plot with complex and well-drawn characters - the investigators and those under suspicion. Although the story has an intriguing premise it is this sharp characterisation that for me really made the story. The intricacies of the various relationships in the book give it a real heart. Some of the characters are immensely unlikeable but nevertheless still interesting, and even those who are more sympathetic are still flawed and  multidimensional. Some of my suspicions were realised but part of the fun of reading a thriller is being proven right and there were still plenty of twists I was surprised by. I'm delighted to have been introduced to Maeve Kerrigan and knowing I now have six more books featuring her is an extra treat.
Many thanks to the publishers, Harper Collins UK for my advance copy received from Netgalley in return for this review.

Let the Dead Speak will be on sale in the UK from 9th March 2017.


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