Sara-Jayne Townsend is a published crime and horror writer and likes books in which someone dies horribly. She is founder and Chair Person of the T Party Writers’ Group. http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com/
Liz Cafferky’s life changed for the better when she was rescued from the streets by the owner of a drop-in centre for lonely men. Now employed by the drop-in centre, she finds local fame as the charity’s face after a media interview with her boosts exposure – and donations – for the centre. Events take a more sinister turn for Liz when, not comfortable with all the fame, starts to receive threatening letters from someone who appears to be stalking her.
Then bodies start appearing, all belonging to men who are regulars at the centre. Is Liz going to be next? And will she ever be able to reconcile her dark past with a bright future?
This is an engrossing book with two very interesting and contrasting female characters. Liz, goodhearted but vulnerable, is swamped by the media attention and still racked by guilt over things in her past, in the days when she was addicted to drink and drugs, before she was rescued by Tom Carthy, the man who would eventually become her boss. And then we have the investigating Detective Sergeant, Claire Boyle, a strong and confident woman with a career that is going places. She also has a seven-month old baby and has recently returned from maternity leave. Claire is sure she has everything sussed and is determined to juggle a full-time demanding career with parenthood, but her self-employed husband is left holding the baby (literally) and when he has to cancel client meetings because Claire is working late into the night and can’t be home to take over childcare, he begins to resent the impact the new arrival is having on his own career. On top of her own family problems, Claire is investigating the murders of the drop-in centre’s clients and trying to get to the bottom of the threatening letters Liz is receiving, before Liz becomes a target of the killer.
This is the second book featuring Detective Sergeant Claire Boyle, but I have not read the first and it wasn’t a problem to pick this one up and get into the story. Claire is a sympathetic and interesting character, and it is a refreshing change to have a baby in a story and it being the father who’s struggling to juggle family life and career instead of the mother. The sub-plot of how Claire can find harmony in her family life that will accommodate the care of a baby, and allow her husband to pursue his own career whilst not impacting on hers is just as interesting as the murder plot, and both plots resolve tidily by the end of the novel.
Fans of psychological thrillers, strong female characters and Irish crime fiction will all find something to love in this gripping novel.