Matthew Merry is not a man to be envied. There are never enough hours in a day for a law enforcement officer to investigate crimes and bring in those responsible for a date with justice.
However, Merry’s life is not that simple.
As Chief Inspector of the Met Police’s Major Investigation Team, an uptick in crime has Merry buried in victims and bodies and very few answers. Only a few months in his new position, his pragmatic style does little to advance investigations into gang-related stabbings and a murdered housewife.
It also does little to comfort his wife, Kathy. The school administrator was drugged and raped by a coworker. Her trauma is exacerbated by the ensuing investigation and trial as another of her attacker’s victims severs all ties with the trial.
As with his job, Matthew’s efforts to support his wife fall short, and at times, seem halfhearted.
This is not to say Matthew Merry is cold, detached, or even a bad person.
He’s simply a deeply flawed man in over his head while fighting his demons and guilt.
Matthew does have flashes of clarity—and brilliance—as crimes become linked by victims and perpetrators. Those links will take the investigation outside the UK and find international connections to crimes Merry and his team never saw coming.
The strong writing of this slow build read kept me engaged and turning pages, and I appreciated how well-developed the characters were throughout the story. For me, it was as much a character analysis of Merry as it was excellent crime fiction. Though unexpected, the ending is satisfying… or is it a new beginning?
The Met Police’s Major Investigation Team East has its hands full: a rash of tit for tat gang related stabbings, a strangled housewife, the decomposed remains of a woman found in a ditch and more to come. Adding to their woes is their boss, Chief Inspector Matthew Merry, being distracted by his problems at home.
For Matthew’s wife, Kathy, her only concern is dealing with the aftermath of being drugged and raped by a co-worker. Will the trial of the man responsible be enough to give her the justice she demands. Or, as her therapist states, is it revenge she really desires. She doesn’t know. As her emotions see-saw from elation to depression, her only certainty is that her husband seems more concerned about his work than her.
And Matthew is only too aware of his failings both at home and work. But the police machine grinds on, seeking information and sifting evidence — justice is not their concern.