Book review: Mirror Man by Fiona McIntosh

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 Permalink

Mirror Man by Fiona McIntosh is the third in the series featuring Scotland Yard detective Jack Hawksworth, promoted here to Detective Superintendent.

I’ve commented in my review of the two previous books that I very much like that McIntosh presents Jack as a likeable boss and his own supervisor is also a good friend of his. It’s a nice change from the usual bastard-like guv’ners we meet in most novels featuring police personnel.

Book review: Mirror Man by Fiona McIntoshMirror Man
by Fiona McIntosh
Series: DCI Jack Hawksworth #3
Published by Penguin Random House Australia
on 01/06/2021
Source: Penguin Random House Australia
Genres: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural
ISBN: 9781760894320
Pages: 416

Police are baffled by several deaths, each unique and bizarre in their own way – and shockingly brutal. Scotland Yard sends in its crack DCI, the enigmatic Jack Hawksworth, who wastes no time in setting up Operation Mirror. His chief wants him to dismiss any plausibility of a serial killer before the media gets on the trail.

With his best investigative team around him, Jack resorts to some unconventional methods to disprove or find a link to the gruesome deaths. One involves a notorious serial killer from his past, and the other, a smart and seductive young journalist who’ll do anything to catch her big break.

Discovering he’s following the footsteps of a vigilante and in a race against time, Jack will do everything it takes to stop another killing – but at what personal cost for those he holds nearest and dearest?

As has been the case with previous novels in this series we meet the killer early in this book. There’s a slight twist however and their identity isn’t entirely obvious in the present.

Their motivation (however) is, so even though Jack consults a former lover (the serial killer mentioned in the blurb) about the vigilante’s mindset there’s not much analysis required. In fact – though the killer’s actions are fairly sophisticated – their dogma seems to be one of ‘take as many as you can while you can’ rather than a cunning plan culminating in an ultimate act or target.

That aside, the stars here are the characters. Jack is eminently likeable and in him McIntosh has developed a complicated and very relatable and genuine protagonist. I also really like Kate, his 2IC who’s nursing a crush on her boss. Thankfully however, McIntosh has Jack acknowledging the fact but doesn’t overplay the ‘will they / won’t they’ element. We also spend more time with computer analyst – the socially awkward Sarah – here and I’m liking her more and more.

And there’s a newcomer, a journalist – potential love interest for Jack it’s suggested. Although of course we realise she may become yet another victim, given McIntosh doesn’t shy away from killing key characters.

I checked my previous reviews before starting this as I’d not remembered some details and noted mention of an Aussie forensic psychologist in the previous book who wasn’t here although the Australian connection is referenced (often) through Jack’s newfound coffee snobbery, courtesy of a trip to Melbourne.

As I mentioned, though we know the who and why here McIntosh throws a twist in towards the end and Jack’s story takes another quite-shocking turn.

Mirror Man by Fiona McIntosh was published in Australia by Penguin (Michael Joseph) and is now available.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. 


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