Book review: A Stranger in the Family by Jane Casey

Thursday, March 14, 2024 Permalink

A Stranger in the Family (by Jane Casey) is the eleventh book in the Maeve Kerrigan / Josh Derwent series. I requested it as there’s not been much about lately and am extremely relieved I did as I loved it. It was a huge surprise. According to Goodreads I’ve read the first four books in the series and missed out on reading any since.

Kerrigan and Derwent have come a long way since then and I was surprised to see there’d been a flirtation and perhaps some feelings on one or both sides. And though the will they / won’t they was part of the novel and an element I certainly enjoyed, it doesn’t overshadow the investigation at hand.

Book review: A Stranger in the Family by Jane CaseyA Stranger in the Family
by Jane Casey
Series: Maeve Kerrigan #11
Published by HarperCollins UK, Hemlock Press
on 14/03/2024
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural
ISBN: 0008405042
Pages: 400
four-half-stars
Goodreads

When nine-year-old Rosalie Marshall vanished from her bed one summer night, her disappearance tore her family apart.

Now, sixteen years later, her mother Helena is found dead, her husband by her side. It looks like a straightforward murder-suicide but DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent soon discover nothing about this case is straightforward.

The Marshalls have been keeping secrets, and they aren't alone. Josh has been holding something back too – something that could change everything for Maeve.

But one person is prepared to kill to hide the truth.
Until Maeve finds out what happened to Rosalie, no one will be safe . . .

It won’t matter if this is your first book in this series as Casey is obviously well versed at providing context and backstory without belabouring it. It means though I’m unsure now if I want to go back and read books 5-10, though suspect the crimes at their centre would be worth it.

Here we’re offered a couple of mysteries for the price of one, though one has led to the other. I was only reading an electronic version so the transition from past to present wasn’t entirely clear at the beginning of the book. I hadn’t read the blurb so assumed the focus would be on a missing girl, rather than the murder of her parents sixteen years later. Interestingly I’d kinda ‘bonded’ with Helena in the beginning so was slightly horrified as I learned more about her all of these years later.

It’s easy to assume you know where this book is heading. Of course the crimes are linked. But most interesting is the disappearance of nine-year old Rosalie years before. Casey gives us some suspects and motives, and then hints at others in Rosalie’s past.

Casey includes a heap of twists along the way here, so it’s ultimately hard to work out what direction this book and its investigation will take. I certainly did not guess at the ‘who’ when they’re eventually revealed.

And then we’re back to Kerrigan and Derwent. There’s certainly an attraction there but he’s with someone else. Sort-of. And just when we think there’s a resolution… Casey goes and ends this on a huge cliffhanger which has bumped this up to a 4.5 star read for me. Argh! Roll on book 12.

A Stranger in the Family by Jane Casey was published by Hemlock Press and available in Australia via Harper Collins.

I received an electronic version of this book via NetGalley for review purposes. 

four-half-stars

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