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11 November 2018

The Insider by Mari Hannah

I couldn't wait to jump back in and see what Stone and Oliver were up to next, so when The Insider arrived I read it straight away. And I was not disappointed. The Insider is excellent, dark and slightly caustic and wickedly clever.

The Insider by Mari Hannah coverAdd to Goodreads button
After their success in their last investigation, DCI David Stone has been promoted and moved to the Murder Investigation Team, taking DS Frankie Oliver with him. But there's a catch: the case they are given is the latest in a series of undetected murders. It's a baptism of fire for MIT's newest recruits.

In the incident room, the murder wall makes grim reading: three women have been killed within the past year and nothing links the crimes: no day of the week, geographical area, similarity between victims and, most importantly, no forensic evidence.

Joanna Cosgrove is the latest victim, her body discovered fully clothed close to a railway line on the south side of the river in the Tyne Valley. The MO is the same as the other three, but the words 'serial killer' are not welcome in Northumbria force.

And the manner in which she was killed is too close to home for Frankie...

Source: Blog Tour | Purchase

5 Words: Mystery, northern, family, secrets, betrayal.

You can tell that the author knows the area which she writes about, and being set pretty locally to me (there was even a mention of where I live) and I loved it. The story takes in a wide swathe of the North East, a bit of a tour of small towns and villages, and it's all so fantastically described that I could practically see it as I read.

I loved how the story is as much about the impact of each crime upon the protagonists as it is them investigating it. The perspective switches between Stone and Oliver so you get to see things from both sides, and see how what is happening takes its toll. You also get a few peeks at the killer's perspective, which I really liked as it helps to build up a picture yourself.

I think my favourite thing about The Insider - aside from the excellent characters, setting, and the story itself - was the feminist narrative lurking behind it all, the caustic take-down of misogyny and privilege. It was an added layer that seems particularly pertinent right now. The Insider is very much set in the here and now, and it doesn't shy away from that.

You don't have to have read the previous Stone and Oliver book (The Lost) before reading The Insider, but it would help if you want to get a bit deeper into the characters. The Insider has a few reveals that were hinted at in The Lost.

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