‘Let The Dead Speak’, by Jane Casey: Book Review

let-the-dead-speakThis book was bought as a gift for me, and I’m going to start this review by saying that I was a little disappointed when I realised it was the seventh in a series. How could I read it when I hadn’t read any of the others, that’s just madness!

But I persevered and I’m so glad I did. Let The Dead Speak is such a fantastic book, even as a stand-alone. I never once felt like I was missing out on anything by not having read any of the previous books (and I will definitely be going back and reading them now). There was some reference to previous stories, and I maybe felt like I wasn’t getting the full impact of some of the character development, but none of this took away from my enjoyment of the story.

Maeve Kerrigan has just been promoted and her first case as a Detective Sergeant is a doozy. A blood soaked house, but no body. A teenager who arrived home (to said blood soaked house) before she was supposed to, but won’t tell anybody why. And a neighbour who’s being just a bit too secretive about how they know Chloe’s mother, the suspected murder victim.

I’m not always a fan of a police procedural series. I find that they can sometimes be a bit predictable when they follow the standard rules of the genre. But Jane Casey doesn’t fall into this trap. Let The Dead Speak never felt like it was being stuffed into a formula. Everything flowed naturally, and even though there are a lot of twists and turns throughout, it never felt forced, like they were put in just for the sake of having a twist.

It doesn’t feel flat when it comes to the characters either. Sometimes this genre can focus too much on the plot and not enough on the characters. But Maeve and her coworkers are fully rounded and relatable. Maeve is going through a breakup (which I have to say made a tear up a little at the end). Derwent’s life is being turned upside down in his new relationship. And they’re both dealing with a new girl in work who’s a little out of her comfort zone.

What I loved about a lot of the characters involved in the murder case is that none of them are particularly likeable (you kind of hope they all get murdered themselves at one point or another), but they’re still fascinating to read. I love when an author can make horrible characters impossible to put down. There are religious zealots, sexual predators and naive put-upon wives. All of whom you want to punch at one point or another, while also waiting in fist-clenching tension to find out what they’re going to do next.

Basically, I loved this book, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves a great police procedural, a tense murder-mystery, or a compelling character based story. Something for everyone.

Anyway, I’m off to read the first book in the series and find out what’s going on with Maeve and Derwent.

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