by Mari Hannah
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Given a choice (assuming no new Jack Reacher novels are out), I will choose a police procedural as my weekly reading. Since L.J. Sellers won’t write enough Detective Jackson novels, I have been forced to cast a wider net. I ran into British Detective Chief Inspector Kate Daniels, the star of Mari Hannah’s “Deadly Deceit” thanks to my good efriend, Rebecca Bradley. This is Hannah’s third of four books about a Northumberland-based team of crime stoppers trying to unravel a triptych of seemingly unrelated crimes–a fire that killed a father and his infant son, an old man who collapsed in the street and was robbed of his life savings, and an old woman who died in a hideous multi-car pile-up–but the autopsy showed she was killed first, likely for her million dollar lottery ticket. The plotting is fast, tight, and unpredictable, but it’s the way Daniels thinks that makes this story a stand-out.
This is a character-driven story, centered around DCI Kate Daniels. She is honest, hard-working, scrubby when necessary, strong in her opinions but open-minded to those of others. She has a tight circle of players who contribute to her detecting skills and each is better than the other. She’s obsessed with her job, career-intense, but the story is real enough to show how despite Daniels’ best efforts, her personal life (in the form of a partner she’s madly in love with but who may not square with Daniels’ career) spills over. It’s intriguing to listen in as she addresses each decision.
Another piece I love about this series is the very British way it is presented. Here are some snippets:
- didn’t answer straight away
- bit of a break
- Dixon kept shtum
- a thought occurred that really wound Daniels up
- picked up her clobber and left the room
- clued-up detective
- it’s a dog’s breakfast if you ask me
Overall, a fascinating story. Now I’m waiting for the fifth in the series. Mari? How’s it going? Can I get you coffee?
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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of dozens of books on integrating tech into education, webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.