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Next of Kin by Maureen Carter. Book Review

February 22, 2016
Next of kin

The body of a teenage girl is found and all the indications are that she is the latest victim of a serial killer. Then the finger of suspicion is pointed at a local sex offender. But when it is discovered that the murdered victim’s friend is also missing, DI Sarah Quinn becomes plunged into an increasingly complicated murder investigation that she must unravel. That is while dealing with a difficult new Chief Superintendent and an old acquaintance, conniving journalist Caroline Kin.

There is something about a Maureen Carter crime novel that makes you want to invite the characters a in for a nice cuppa (or in most cases something a little stronger) and get them to dish the dirt. Most of the wrongdoers in this novel are the type of people you might meet on the street and never give them a second glance. Left in peace they would carry on their ordinary dysfunctional lives without making much of a ripple. But when exceptional circumstances overcome them, vigilantes and conspiratorial, misplaced parental love, turns Sarah Quinn’s leads into blind alleys or plenty of gory ends. The interference she also gets from all sides creates a nice sense of frustration for the reader who becomes increasingly infuriated by the way Sarah’s investigation is being hampered. Her relationship with Caroline Kin adds another layer to the narrative because it walks the line between total distrust and a grudging respect for each other.

This is a crime novel with a particularly unpleasant individual committing the unacceptable, but it is also about ordinary people becoming involved in extraordinary events, through the wrong decisions being made for what they think are the right reasons. Next of Kin is an intimate study of crime and human nature.

Next of Kin courtesy of Severn House via NetGalley

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