The Death Messenger

Mari Hannah. Minotaur, $28.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-250-11881-3
In Hannah’s underwhelming sequel to 2018’s The Silent Room, Det. Supt. Eloise O’Neil, the new head of a powerful special ops unit, chooses Det. Sgt. Matthew Ryan to be a part of her team. A disturbing DVD, narrated by a woman, is sent anonymously to Northumbria police headquarters, depicting a bloody crime scene but with no victim in sight. Sussex Police HQ has also received a similar DVD. Days later, one victim, judge Leonard Maxwell, Lord Trevathan, is pulled from Scotland’s River Tay. As more DVDs arrive, the pressure mounts on O’Neil and Ryan. O’Neil will need Ryan’s penchant for bucking the system, since this clever and motivated killer shows no signs of slowing down. The dialogue-heavy narrative does quite a bit of telling, but not much showing, which is a shame, because the set pieces staged by the killer are genuinely creepy. The uneven pace dampens suspense, and a drawn-out denouement stretches credulity. Hannah is still learning her craft, and hopefully will do better next time. Agent: Oli Munson, A.M. Heath (U.K.). (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/12/2018
Release date: 01/01/2019
Genre: Fiction
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