BOOK REVIEW: Mark Hill – It Was Her

Mark Hill It WasHer Book Review

Mark Hill

It Was Her

Paperback: 448 pages

Publisher: Sphere

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0751563242

ISBN-13: 978-0751563245

DATE: May 7, 2018

RATING: *****

That second difficult novel. Following the success of Mark Hill’s His First Lie, It Was Her sees the return of DI Ray Drake and DS Flick Crowley and what a superb return it is too. No punches are pulled, no shocks left in the garage. This is an absolute triumph in thriller writing and guaranteed to absorb its readers from the off.

Twenty years ago, Tatia was adopted into a well-off home where she seemed happy, settled. Then the youngest boy in the family dies in an accident, and she gets the blame. Tatia is cast out, away from her remaining adopted siblings Joel and Sarah. Now she yearns for a home to call her own. So when she sees families going on holiday, leaving their beautiful homes empty, there seems no harm in living their lives while they are gone. But somehow, people keep ending up dead.

As bodies start to appear in supposedly safe neighbourhoods, DI Ray Drake and DS Flick Crowley race to find the thinnest of links between the victims. But Drake’s secret past is threatening to destroy everything.

The beauty of this novel lies in the characterisation. Drake and Crowley are wonderful creations, drawn with such finely observed detail at times it is as though they’re in the same room. Also where sometimes “the cop with a problem” thing can come over as cliched, in DI Ray Drake his past is the very thing that drives him on and in so doing gives depth and purpose.

The plot is a thick, slow-cooked stew of deliciousness. A story so intriguing it’s impossible not to absorb slowly, so as to savour the rich ingredients Hill introduces paragraph-by-paragraph and page-by-page so that, in the end, we arrive at a feast of a climax indeed.

An absolute joy of a read, It Was Her confirms Mark Hill’s place at the very top table of British crime fiction and only fuels even greater anticipation of that which is to come.

Brilliant stuff, indeed.

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