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Library Journal Review
When Rea Carlisle inherits her uncle's house in Belfast, she discovers a secret diary detailing eight grisly murders. Her father, an ambitious local politician, wants to destroy the journal, so she confides in a former lover, DI Jack Lennon. Then she is murdered and the diary disappears. Lennon, on medical leave and addicted to pills and alcohol after being shot in an earlier case (Stolen Souls), is in disgrace for having killed a fellow cop. Without official standing, Lennon pursues solutions on his own, beset by personal demons, police obstruction, and corruption. VERDICT This is the fourth Lennon tale with the shadow of Northern Ireland's past bloody sectarian violence, the Troubles, still hanging over all. Rea's father has a paramilitary background, Lennon fears a crooked police official threatening him, and he is in danger of losing custody of his ten-year-old daughter. Alternating points of view reveal the horrifying mind of the killer as well as the hate and suspicion that remain years after peace has been declared. Solving the mystery leaves Lennon spent, physically and fiscally, but readers will hope he manages to reappear in this highly regarded series.-Roland Person, formerly with Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
In Nevilles engrossing fourth mystery featuring Belfast Det. Insp. Jack Lennon (after 2011s Stolen Goods), Rea Carlisle, while cleaning out a house she recently inherited from her uncle, finds a leather-bound book containing detailed descriptions of eight murders, along with fingernails and hair taken from the bodies of victims. Her father, a member of Northern Irelands parliament, the Stormont Assembly, fears for his political career, and forbids Rea to go to the authorities. Instead, Rea seeks unofficial help from Jack Lennon, who was once her lover, unaware that Lennon is facing suspension for shooting a fellow officer in Stolen Goods. Lennons tough new supervisor, Det. Chief Insp. Serena Flanagan, doesnt trust him and tracks his activities closely. While investigating the revelations of the murder diary, as well as an old incriminating photo and a senseless murder, Lennon faces powerful enemies who threaten not just his career but also everything important to him. The action builds to a chilling conclusion. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber Associates. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* More than a year after being wounded in a deadly shootout, Belfast DI Jack Lennon is struggling. His request for a medical pension seems doomed, since he killed a cop, albeit a dirty one, and his personal life is slipping. Then an old girlfriend, Rea Carlisle, asks for his help after she finds an album recounting murders in the home of the uncle she hardly knew, a man who just committed suicide; there's also a potentially incriminating photograph of several men, including her uncle and her father, a rising politician. The album has disappeared by the time Rea meets with Lennon, and shortly afterward she is murdered, making him in the eyes of DCI Serena Flanagan the prime suspect. The relentless Flanagan, just diagnosed with breast cancer, and the disreputable Lennon are at odds in a cat-and-mouse game until Lennon uses his long-established contacts to track down the serial killer behind it all. Neville has established a reputation for his superlative Belfast novels in which the city itself functions as a character. Here Belfast is suitably atmospheric, but these events might have occurred anywhere a psychopath gives vent to his urges. Psychological thriller and police procedural blend for a pulse-pounding crime novel from a master of the genre.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2014 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
A woman with a family secret turns to a wounded cop with a weakness for women in trouble.When Raymond Drew throws himself into the River Lagan from the old towpath in Belfast, he leaves behind a semidetached house, eight bags' and boxes' worth of personal effects, and a locked room that hides a dark personal history. His 34-year-old niece, Rea Carlisle, hopes to take possession of the house rather than live with her submissive mother and coldly ambitious father. She's also determined to get into the locked room. What she finds there makes her call DI Jack Lennon, who dated her briefly and dumped her in a bar, because she needs to talk to someone in law enforcement about her dreadful suspicions regarding her uncle. Jack (Ratlines, 2013, etc.) isn't the most reliable champion: He's on suspension, living with a woman he doesn't love, drinking and popping pills, clinging to the right to care for his motherless daughter, and fighting his superior's attempts to push him off the force after a shootout over a Ukrainian prostitute. Jack took three bullets to get her to safety and is still partly disabled from the injury. Although he secretly thinks Rea is crazy, he still tries to help. When she's brutally murdered, Jack is one of the suspects, and he goes rogue to find the real killer. He has some secret information of his own as protection against those who are trying to destroy him professionally, but as the stakes rise, he realizes that being kicked off the force may not be the worst danger he faces. An uneasy alliance with cool-headed DCI Serena Flanagan from the Major Investigation Team and a visit to the even darker side of a still-bleak Belfast may be Jack's only hope of survival. Neville's gritty tale sets a man barely holding onto his personal worth loose in a city still recovering from the Troubles. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.