Review: Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey

Who has been enjoying the return of Line of Duty to our screens? Detective dramas and crime thrillers are my absolute favourite thing to read and watch, and the latest book to hit my shelf is Let the Dead Speak by award-winning crime writer, Jane Casey, which was sent to me to review.


Eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home one day to find the house covered in blood and Kate, her mother, gone. There may not be a body, but everything else points to murder.

Maeve Kerrigan is young, ambitious and determined to prove she’s up to her new role as detective sergeant. She suspects Chloe is holding something back, but best friend Bethany Norris won’t let Maeve get close. What exactly is Bethany protecting Chloe from?

As the team dig deeper into the residents of Valerian Road, no one is above suspicion. All Maeve needs is one person to talk, but that’s not going to happen. Because even in a case of murder, some secrets are too terrible to share.

Let the Dead Speak I've discovered is part of a series of books based on investigations by the character Maeve Kerrigan, an ambitious detective who has recently been promoted to detective sergeant. The book is a quick starter, kicking off the story with a sense of creepiness and suspicion within the first few pages.

Eighteen-year old Chloe Emery returns home early from visiting her father and stepmother, to find that her mother, Kate, is missing and their home is covered in blood. Chloe is taken in by their neighbours, Oliver and Eleanor Norris, who are very religious, and their fifteen-year old daughter, Bethany, seems to be a thorn in DS Kerrigan's side whilst investigating the case. Chloe has answers but no one can get close enough to get her to talk. Oliver's brother Morgan and family friend Gareth Selhurst raised suspicions for me, something about them just isn't quite right.

The Norris family direct DS Kerrigan to another resident on the road, a twenty-year old man named William Turner who had previously been arrested for stabbing his best friend, but the charges were dropped. The Norris family seem insistent that he is trouble, but is he really?

Then there are Chloe's stepmother and stepbrothers. We get a taste of how unpleasant Chloe's stepmother is from the very first page of the book and as suspected, that leads to a can of worms being opened. She clearly doesn't like Chloe or her mother.

I loved the pace and writing style of this book, it gets stuck right into the nitty-gritty without any messing around, but holds your suspense all the way through. I've been wide-eyed and suspicious of everyone, but I've laughed, too, as I've got to know the detectives and their relationships and personal lives a little more. It's not just the story of the case that draws you in; it's the getting to know the characters, the police procedures, the working relationships.

It makes it all seem so real, as if Valerian Road could be my road - or yours -  and had me utterly gripped. And the twists, I love a book with a good twist or two! With every crime novel I read I am always looking for clues and trying to work out what has happened before the end. I failed with this one, which isn't like me at all - but it didn't disappoint. This book might be part of a series, but I didn't feel I needed to have read the others before reading this one.

That said, I am certainly going to be reading them all now!

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I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher in return for writing this post.

1 comment

  1. Line of Duty - our favourite TV show! How exciting was it! I haven't read a book since I was pregnant with my first born 7 years ago. THAT is so bad. I must start again x

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