The book follows Kate Matthews, a DI recently transferred from the Met to Southampton. She’s had a string of bad luck on cases not going to trial an is hoping that with this new case, her record will improve. But a body is found in the wreckage of a burned out building, and everyone seems to be against her. On top of everything, someone is stalking her, entering her flat, and threatening her life and the life of her daughter.
I was intrigued by the premise of this book, which was the entire reason I requested this book, but this had to be one of the most frustrating books I’ve read this year. Stephen Edger is a good writer—I have to say that right up front, because the rest of this review won’t be positive. The plot was excellently written and I could have really gotten into it if it hadn’t been for one thing—Kate Matthews. She had to be the most frustrating, dislikable characters I’ve read in a while. I don’t mind a flawed character—heck, I don’t necessarily need to like a character—but they have to have some redeemable quality to them, and Kate did not have that in my eyes.
There were so many issues I had, I don’t even know where to begin, but here’s a list:
- She hasn’t seen her daughter for over a year, and has made zero effort to talk to her. When her ex-husband asks her to watch their daughter for a few days because his new wife is at the hospital because she collapsed, she at first tells him no, and then tells him that he will have to pay for childcare.
- She constantly forgets about her daughter. Example: after finding out her stalker has hacked her computer and is somewhere in her building, she goes out to her car until her DS arrives. Meanwhile, HER DAUGHTER IS ASLEEP IN HER BED. *insert angry face
- She doesn’t even recognize her own daughter. “Kate continued to stare from one girl to the other, suddenly panicked that she couldn’t tell which one was hers.”
- Refuses to her superior about her stalker, her reasoning being that her ‘gut’ is telling her he’ll simply disappear into the shadows and she’ll never catch him. Granted, I get that, but it is still very weak reasoning. However, there are rules for a reason, and she is endangering her subordinates by not following procedure.
- By refusing to tell her supervisor about her stalker, she endangers a lot of cases because she comes across evidence for cases her colleagues are working on. It also leads her to do an illegal search of a suspects place, dragging in her DC with her.
I’m sure there is more in the last 30% of the story that would have irritated me, but I couldn’t take the story anymore, and stopped reading it.
On a positive note, I can understand her reasons for leaving her husband, and for giving him custody of their child. But that is all. I can’t understand why you would completely cut yourself off from your child, to the point you can’t even recognize them, just because you feel you would not be a good mother.
My Rating: 2/5 stars
*I received an arc copy of this via Netgalley from Bookouture. Thank you