The Stranger You Know: A (Maeve Kerrigan) Novel by Jane Casey (Minotaur Books, $25.99, 384 pages)
It surprised him, but he didn’t mind that she was dead. He could look at her, really look at her, without being interrupted. Without being afraid that she would say something, or do something, that might hurt him.
The slightly off-kilter, macabre opening is a flashback to 1992. There’s no doubt; this is classic Jane Casey writing. Her measured tone keeps the reader riveted to the page while she spins a web of intrigue. The Stranger You Know is the fourth book of the Detective Inspector Maeve Kerrigan mystery series set in present-day London. Detective Inspector Josh Derwent, another ongoing character, is her partner on the police force. Derwent wins no personality contests but he is a good policeman. At least that’s what Maeve has come to believe.
This time around Maeve is called into a special group investigating two recent murders and one from 20 years ago that appears to be the first in a series. Perhaps the group has a serial killer to chase down. To make matters more complicated, Derwent is linked to the first murder.
The book reads like a diary from Maeve’s perspective. The sections are sequenced as days of a week beginning with Thursday and ending more than a week later. One additional flashback to 1992 well into the plot helps the reader put the crimes and characters into better perspective.
Author Casey is a master at weaving real clues with red herrings. Her readers will be satisfied with the quality of this tale. The lives of her characters are usually thrown open for examination, almost as in an autopsy. The Stranger You Know is true to form, a fine form.
A review copy was received from the publisher. This book will be released in a trade paper version on March 31, 2015.
Jane Casey is the author of The Burning, The Lost Girl, and The Reckoning.