Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary

The Blurb On The Back:

”You only ever ask that.  Why did I do it?  You never ask what they did.”

The winter cold is biting, and a series of assaults is pulling DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake out into the frosty, mean streets of London far more than they’d like.  The attacks seem random, but when Marnie’s family home is ransacked, there are signs that the burglary can have only been committed by a child – and someone who knows all about her.  It will take a prison visit to her foster brother, Stephen, to help Marnie see the connections – and to force both her and Noah to face the truth about the creeping, chilling reaches of a troubled upbringing.  For how can a damaged child really leave their past behind them? 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake are investigating a series of vicious assaults in London, the victims of which have all themselves been convicted of violent offences.  When the latest victim dies from his injuries the case becomes a hunt for a killer but Marnie and Noah are short on leads.

Then Marnie is distracted by a nasty burglary at her old family home that hospitalises her tenants.  When the investigating officer brings her evidence that the burglary was carried out by children looking for something specific, Marnie’s forced to make contact with her imprisoned foster brother Stephen to search for answers but doing so reveals connections to her own investigation …

The fourth in Sarah Hilary’s DI MARNIE ROME SERIES neatly advances the overall series arc relationship between Rome and her foster brother, Stephen, I enjoyed her relationship with Noah and the scenes involving young Finn are chilling and tense but the identity of the antagonist is telegraphed too soon and I don’t think enough was made of the conflict thrown up by the background of the victims.

I hadn’t read the previous books in this series but Hilary gives enough information here to get the gist of Marnie’s relationship with Stephen, which is slightly echoed in the relationship between Noah and his brother Sol (the ramifications of which will undoubtedly unfold in the next book) and I enjoyed the way it all harks back to the overall series arc.  Marnie and Noah have a great working relationship and I also enjoyed how Marnie’s forced to adjust to new boss Ferguson (who is a bit of a career police officer cliché) but I wish there’d been more of Ed whose role is negligible despite being Marnie’s partner and therefore an obvious emotional support.

The best scenes in the book are from the point of view of Finn, a young kidnap victim.  Hilary does well at portraying his fear and then linking back to the wider plot.  Unfortunately, the antagonist for that wider plot is far too easy to guess (I actually got it from the moment they first appeared), which took away a lot of the tension and given the crimes of the victims, I’d really wanted more to be made of the conflict thrown up by their own past.  That said, this is a solid read and it’s made me want to check out the earlier books.

Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

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