Anderson, Lin - 'Easy Kill'
EASY KILL by Lin Anderson is the fifth (sixth if you include the prequel novella BLOOD RED ROSES) in her series featuring pathologist Rhona Cameron. In this book Rhona Cameron helps the police (DI Wilson and his team) investigate a series of brutal murders of prostitutes working in Glasgow's red light district, after mutilated women's bodies are found in the famous Necropolis cemetery. When another young girl goes missing from Glasgow's East End, Rhona and the police need to act quickly to try and pre-empt the killer and rescue the girl. The police draft in a university-based psychologist, Magnus Pirie, to assist. But it's unclear whether Magnus will ultimately help or hinder the investigation, as Magnus is keen to follow his own theories despite official disapproval, and contacts the author of a website claiming to have insider knowledge of the murders. Magnus and Rhona's efforts to save the missing girl culminate in an exciting race against time through the underbelly of Glasgow.
EASY KILL is a pacy, atmospheric thriller that is a cut above the average police procedural. Lin Anderson sensitively depicts the lives of women in the sex trade, and the dangers they face from pimps and other predators, and the lives of the family left behind. Rhona is a strong, appealing heroine, and the new character of Magnus is an intriguing mix. Although Magnus has remarkable psychological insight into other's behaviour and hidden emotions, there is an element of hubris, his pride leading him to a fall in the mistakes he makes in the investigation. The personal lives of Rhona, her pregnant assistant Chrissy and the police team discreetly but convincingly appear in the background to the investigation, providing continuity throughout the series. The sense of location is strong, both of the East End, the coastal areas that Rhona investigates and the Molendinar Burn.
EASY KILL was an enjoyable, pacy engaging read, and I look forward to reading further books in this series.
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Laura Root, England