Detective Elizabeth Ireland Crime Thriller Series, Book 1
by Joanne Clancy
Ten years ago Elizabeth Ireland was a detective with the the Metropolitan Police in London, working on a highly publicized serial killer case, known as Teardrop. The killer was caught, and the case was a lock; until Elizabeth was accused of tampering with evidence, and the killer was set free. The allegations proved to be false, and she was able to successfully sue the department for defamation, but the damage was done.
Now, Elizabeth is living in Ireland, working as a private investigator, and dating Frank Murphy, a Detective Chief Superintendent with the Murder Unit. All should be well.
Enter sleazy reporter Brendan Mahon. Mahon brings a letter to Elizabeth, claiming to be from Ross Campbell aka Teardrop, stating that he’s going to kill again. Knowing that she worked the case 10 years ago, Mahon asks her to consult on this new case for The Examiner, the newspaper where he works. She’s reluctant, tells Mahon that it’s likely a hoax and that Ross Campbell is probably dead. After promising not to share the letter with anyone, she agrees to help.
But Elizabeth breaks her promise and she shares the letter with Frank, knowing full darn well that she’s sharing it with the police. Now she’s working with the police as their expert consultant. There’s just one problem. Elizabeth knows that this letter can’t be from Campbell. She knows he’s dead. The reason she knows this, is because she’s the one who killed him!
Wait, isn’t that a spoiler? Before anyone starts freaking out that I just gave away a big plot point, this fact is revealed in the first chapter and in no way diminishes the mystery of who the killer is. I believe it’s important to know that fact right from the beginning because it’s a big reason why I liked this book so much.
With this knowledge, the book takes a different kind of turn. Instead of just trying to figure out who this new killer is, we also have to worry about Elizabeth, and how she’s going to convince the police that they are looking for the wrong person.
At just about every turn, her insights into the case are dismissed. It’s a very badly kept secret that she’s dating Frank, the head of the Murder Unit, and she’s resented by some of the detectives working on the case. In desperation, Elizabeth makes a risky decision that may just put herself in jeopardy. As the clues begin to pile up, and the case takes on a new twist, Elizabeth starts to fear that she’s made a terrible mistake and she’s beginning to wonder who she can trust.
I was engrossed in this book right from the start. I found Elizabeth’s struggle with her guilt and the truth of what she did so compelling, and I’m very interested to read more about her. I also liked her interaction with Frank, the DCS that she’s dating and the lead on this new case. The author did a great job depicting Elizabeth’s inner struggle and how it could affect her relationship.
The story itself is a good one, and the pacing is fantastic. Not once did this book lag or get bogged down. It moved very quickly, and kept me guessing. No sooner did I think that I knew who the killer was, a new clue would pop up and I would change my mind again. By the time the killer was revealed, it was a complete surprise.
Overall, this book was a quick and enjoyable read. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery, but doesn’t like all the unnecessary and gratuitous gory violence that’s sometimes found in this type of book. Don’t get me wrong – this book is about a serial killer so there is violence, it’s just not in your face blood and guts.
I’m looking forward to Joanne Clancy’s second book in the series, “Insincere”.
If this sounds like your kind of mystery, please feel free to comment.
Disclaimer – I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this book for an honest review.