Not Quite What I was Expecting: “The Reckoning”

10590390The Reckoning by Jane Casey
Minotaur Books: May 22, 2012 (Mystery)

I’d go there again!
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I’ll be honest, I was pretty ambivalent towards the first book in this series, The Burning. However, I was desperate for a new audiobook on my drive to work, and so I found myself engrossed in a mystery that otherwise I would not have picked up.

In this second book in Casey’s Maeve Kerrigan series Maeve’s personal life isn’t the best, she’s moved into the latest of bad apartments, and she’s got a new superior who really rubs her the wrong way. On top of that, someone’s targeting and torturing known child abuse offenders and it’s Maeve’s job to find justice for those that many believe got what they deserved. 

The first half of The Reckoning was a bit of a slow start. I wasn’t into the mystery and I wasn’t into Maeve’s inner torment about her relationship with her colleague, Rob. In the first half Maeve was hard to like, but her back and forth with Rob was believable.

As for the mystery, I thought it was very cut and dry from the start. Someone is murdering people and the Met is going to figure out who. However, about halfway through this mystery totally changes. There’s a reason why these specific people are being murdered and suddenly this mystery is all about tracking down a missing young girl. The Reckoning started off very simply (albeit gruesomely) and it was the complications that evolved in the case that kept me engrossed. Casey sure knows how to crank up the suspense.

What I found a lot stronger in The Reckoning was the changes in the characters. There was a lot more focus on Maeve as a individual, which worked for me. Mystery fans need not worry, despite amping up character development, the mystery remained centre stage. There is also several additions to Godley’s team, including another female DC as well as the likeable/unlikeable Derwent. DI Derwent was an interesting addition to the team, he’s not exactly endearing, but he is entertaining and it appears that there’s more stuff going on below the surface with him. I suspect that there will be much more of Josh Derwent in the subsequent books.

As for the audio component, I thought it was narrated very well. Sarah Coomes did a great job of bringing DC Kerrigan to life and if I could get my hands on the next book in audio format that would be my first choice. There’s something about mystery audiobooks that just work for me.

The Reckoning was a twisty, procedural mystery that was balanced out well with a fabulous but flawed young woman as it’s main character. This one is definitely a darker mystery, Casey does not shy away from describing the murder scenes, so fair warning for the squeamish, a cozy mystery this ‘aint.

Similar Reads

For similar reads, check my review of the previous book, The Burning.

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