Review: No Place to Die by Clare Donoghue

Tuesday 10 March 2015
Title: No Place to Die (Mike Lockyer, #2)
Author: Clare Donoghue
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: 12th March 2015
Pages: 387
ISBN: 9781447239345
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Guilt for the past. Fear for the future.

The body of a female university student is found buried in Elmstead Woods, South London. The circumstances of her death are as unprecedented as they are frightening.

Two men admit to having had relationships with the girl just before she died.

Both deny murder.

Lewisham's murder-squad detectives Jane Bennett and Mike Lockyer must untangle a web of deceit if they are to stop this monster before more innocent lives are lost.

2014 was an exciting year for crime fiction, debuts especially, and one that stood out for me more than most was Clare Donoghue's Never Look Back. I left my copy of it on the London Underground as part of Books on the Underground so hopefully somebody else got as much enjoyment out of it as me. I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of No Place to Die and I am pleased to report that it didn't disappoint.

One of the strengths of this series is in its characters. This time around DS Jane Bennett was the star of the show for me, I loved her as a character, flaws and all. What I particularly enjoy is Clare has created characters that feel real, having genuine emotions and fears. Characters who make mistakes both in their professional and personal life. This time around things are a little bit tense between Jane and her boss DI Mike Lockyer because of the events of Never Look Back. Jane is forced to make some difficult decisions, which could impact on her friendship and her working relationship with Lockyer.

The storyline in this book was gripping, with two threads that had me wondering just when or even if they would be connected. I'm sure all of us have a fear of being buried alive, and that is sort of what happens here but worse when the body of a young student is found interred inside a tomb, left to die a horrible death. Despite the rather extreme crime, the actual investigation is somewhat normal and again this was a highlight of the novel for me, the book does read almost like a TV show would play out, and I really enjoy crime novels which are written like that. A proper police procedural as I call it, following the police gathering evidence, conducting interviews etc and then those scenes of normality, Jane at home with her young son, struggling to achieve that work/life balance that I don't think I've ever seen a fictional police detective achieve. It doesn't take long before suspects crop up, and the fear for the police is whether more bodies are about to be discovered...

This is certainly a book that kept me guessing, with more than enough twists and turns to throw most readers off the scent, and so I imagine there won't just be me who was left guessing until the very end. It's a book I didn't want to put down (cliche but so true. Sleep won out in the end, but the following night reading won)! The twist I felt I perhaps should have been coming, but really, I was too engrossed in the book and did find myself caught off guard. This is a series that excites me very much, and with another book on the way I hope that it's going to be a long running series, it certainly has the potential to do so and Clare Donoghue is not an author to miss. Comparisons are lazy but I would recommend this book for fans of Mark Billingham and Lynda La Plante, whilst this is definitely a book (and series) that can stand on its own merits, I was reminded of those two authors (two of my favourites) whilst reading No Place to Die, more so than other books which proclaim similarities to those authors which never materialise. This is not a series to miss if you can help it.


1 comment:

  1. Ooooh I love that you sound so passionate about this! I haven't read any of these I don't think but my interest in piqued. Go you for leaving a book on the train, I don't do trains but did once leave a book on a bus in Vegas :)



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