In British author Hilary’s promising if uneven first novel, Det. Insp. Marnie Rome and her partner, Det. Sgt. Noah Jake, visit a rundown women’s shelter in North London, where they plan to get testimony from Ayana Mirza, a domestic abuse survivor. Instead, they stumble on another domestic abuse survivor, Hope Proctor, standing over her bleeding husband, Leo, bloody knife in hand. Rome is no stranger to violence—her foster brother murdered her parents—and the case seems an open and shut example of another possessive, violent husband finally pushing his wife too far. Nagging questions remain, such as how Leo got into what was supposed to be a secure facility, the safety of which is further cast into doubt when Hope vanishes and Ayana’s abuser kidnaps her. Hilary can be heavy-handed in establishing Rome’s character and backstory, but she skillfully interweaves multiple viewpoints on the way to the mystery’s unsettling conclusion. Agent: Jane Gregory, Gregory & Company Authors Agents (U.K.). (July)
Reviewed on: 05/12/2014 Release date: 06/24/2014 Genre: Fiction
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