It is easy to say things like “I have loved all of Marnie Riches’ books” but I have. She writes in a style that I like to read. The stories always have a base in realism, with a hint of shock. She talks about things we know happen, but would really not like to acknowledge that they do.
So, with the start of this new series I was expecting just that, plus her usual scattering of loveable rogue characters. I wasn’t disappointed.
The book starts with a bang, or should I say gangbang. A young prostitute is choked to death as a group of men, wearing animal masks, use her for their pleasure. The death is filmed and later makes its way onto the dark net. But, far from forcing the man who killed her into hiding, it empowers his self-fulfilling prophecy of a man who holds power over women.
Meanwhile 30 year old Beverly Saunders is trying to dig her way out from under the debris of a divorce. Her husband is using her psychological issues to keep her from seeing her daughter. She is trying to establish herself as a Private Investigator, whilst attending group counselling sessions to address her addictions, more about those later.
When the wife of a Member of the Shadow Cabinet bumps into her, and asks for help proving that her husband is having affairs she has to accept, not because she needs the money, because she sees the bruises on the wife and knows she has to help her.
This job is way above the type of investigations she’s used to running, and as well as turning to observations and honey traps, she needs to hack his electronic life.
Enter Doc, a friend from the counselling sessions who is addicted to strong weed and Lego. Yes Lego, the toy, brilliant. He is also a computer geek of the highest order.
The investigation puts both Beth and Doc in danger, but how much of it is real, and how much of it is weed educed paranoia on Doc’s behalf.
To add to the illusions of danger somebody is playing with Bev’s head, using her OCD, moving things in her damp basement flat, not that anyone else would notice, but just enough to put doubt into her mind.
The story has many threads, all of them edgy, and all of them winding their way to a great climax at the end of the book. I can’t say more than that because, to do so, would ruin a good read.
I mentioned Bev’s psychological issues, and these are what makes her such a great character. She has OCD, she collects and makes origami figures, and she’s addicted to sex, often turning to a well know porn site for an afternoon of “stress busting”
She’s vulnerable, yet ballsy, she can be quite unsure of herself, yet she has a short fuse to a raging temper.
This series has legs, and I can’t wait to see which alley they take us down.
Publishing Date: 11thJuly 2019