Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Mourner by Susan Wilkins

Review by The Mole

Helen Warner is found dead on the banks of the Thames. It seems like a straightforward suicide - that's what the police want to think. Kaz Phelps, now living as Clare O'Keefe under the witness protection program in Glasgow, doesn't want to think that her ex-lover could have committed suicide and is out to prove she didn't - so is Julia Hadley, Helen Warner's partner.

Julia enlists the help of SBA, a security and private investigations company, to establish the truth behind Helen's death. Nicci Armstrong, the police officer responsible for Kaz having to enter the witness protection program, was forced into early retirement and is now employed by Simon Blake, the owner of SBA and also the victim of political machinations within the Met.

And so the hunt is on for the truth behind Helen's death - a death the police are anxious to sweep under the carpet. Then Joey, Kaz's psychopathic brother, kills a policeman and escapes jail to become another factor in the investigation. Can Julie and Kaz get justice or will they settle for revenge?

Let the mayhem begin.

This book picks up the story two years on from The Informant and it does it rather seamlessly. Within the first book blood letting was rife and when the last page came, although I enjoyed it immensely I was glad to take a break into something less violent. I picked The Mourner up with a little trepidation but while the pace is just as fast the violence is less prolific. Sequels are frequently not quite as good as the début but here I can honestly say that I found it even better.

We continue to pick up the back story of several of the characters and meet again characters that had a lesser role in The Informant and learn a little of their back story. Each of the characters really came to life for me, and both Kaz and Nicci, neither of whom I really liked in the first book, became almost friends to me. Their back stories continued to be filled in and other characters - some from The Informant and others new to us - start to get their stories built.

The trail of evidence followed felt logical and the investigation developed in a sensible way - but with the police against them could they ever make a real difference? When the full extent of involvement in Helen's death becomes apparent the reader starts to realise that this probably won't end in a court case but will there be any form of justice?

As I turned the last page there were so many questions left unanswered that I knew there would have to be a third book - but will there also be spinoffs as characters disappear across the world or will they come back together (well at least those that lived through) to book 3.

A fantastic story but be sure to start with The Informant as this very much builds on it. But maybe one day it would be nice to read the prequel?

Publisher - Pan Macmillan
Genre - Adult fiction, crime thriller

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