Jane Casey's series featuring DC Maeve Kerrigan is very quickly moving to the top of my "favorite series" list - very quickly. I've now finished the 4th book, The Stranger You Know, and am pretty much desperate to get the 5th, The Kill. Happily, though it has not been published in the US yet (seriously, what is it about the disparity of publish dates between the US and the UK??), it is available on Audible for my listening pleasure. So, I'll be listening to The Kill once I'm through with my current audio book.
The Stranger You Know is a fast paced thriller of a book. Lots of things happen and our characters' lives move forward. Maeve is still on Superintendent Godley's special murder squad. Her regular partner is still DI Josh Derwent, maybe the most sexist pig man that she's ever known. However, I have a definite soft spot for Derwent and he finally comes to the forefront in this book. Maeve's significant other, Rob, formerly her colleague but now working for another specialized team, spends most of the book off on training at the FBI. And the new DCI Una Burt (can you believe that name?) seems to despise Derwent for some unknown reason. There's got to be more to that story.
Three women have been strangled and mutilated in their homes. The crime scenes are fairly horrific and the pressure is on to find the killer. DCI Burt is in charge and DC Kerrigan is assigned to assist her in liaising with the other detectives that were on the first two cases. Again, Godley is keeping Derwent out of the loop. And then he tells Maeve why. DI Josh Derwent is considered to be a suspect in these crimes. It's not the first time that Derwent has been accused of murder. As Maeve finds out, a girl that Derwent was close to in his teen years was killed in a similar manner and he was a suspect then as well. Secrets that Josh has kept from his colleagues are revealed and Maeve finds herself in a position that she never thought she would be in - defending her partner.
As this series has progressed, my admiration for Kerrigan has increased. She definitely has a knack for seeing the tiny threads in a crime scene that might lead to real clues. Her mind jumps readily to possibilities and she follows up. Some of this, she has learned from Superintendent Godley, but some of it she has acquired by watching Josh Derwent, who is very good at his job. I like Derwent. He's got a hard shell and he pokes fun at Maeve and makes her angry and frustrated, but he has a sense of honor and loyalty that just shines through when you know where to look. His early life was hard and he keeps his innate kindness well hidden. In The Stranger You Know, lots of questions are answered and we find out why he has such a shield on his true self.
If you haven't read Jane Casey's great series, I highly recommend it. The first book is The Burning. Try it, you might like it.