cover image The Carrier

The Carrier

Sophie Hannah. Putnam, $27.95 (480p) ISBN 978-0-670-78586-5

A labyrinthine plot and thoroughly unlikable characters hamper Hannah’s eighth Sgt. Charlie Zailer and Det. Constable Simon Waterhouse mystery (after 2013’s Kind of Cruel). Since Charlie is no longer a member of CID, due to a disastrous previous case, only Simon can officially investigate the murder of Francine Breary, by all accounts a horrible person, whose husband confessed to the killing but doesn’t know why. Simon and Charlie bicker constantly about the “Don’t-Know-Why Killer,” exchanges that are grating rather than endearing. Readers familiar with Hannah’s narrative style may latch on more easily than a new audience—Charlie and Simon’s police work is told in the third person but intermixed with a first-person account from the viewpoint of a mysterious woman. Either way, it’s difficult to become invested in a case populated nearly exclusively by unpleasant people. (Jan.)