Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Chill of Night by James Hayman

The second in the McCabe and Savage series, a fast paced police procedural story with a detective who takes his work home with him and his problems from home to work with him.

Hayman draws attention to the fact that people with mental illnesses often suffer from stereotyping by the people around them and the public in general.

In this case the police automatically assume the 'crazy' girl is just having another episode or psychotic break and just leave her to her own devices and very real fears.

I find it interesting that McCabe and Maggie have an almost clairvoyant relationship. She knows what he is thinking and what he wants even if he doesn't say a word. They are closer as a pair than Kyra and McCabe are. Maggie understands the job and the difficulties it brings with it, whereas Kyra has trouble understanding that the job comes first for him.

The murder victim and her physical appearance bring a kind of odd closure for McCabe. He is rattled by the similarity or rather he is rattled by the fact he is actually rattled by the similarity. He begins to question himself. Why would he be disturbed by the similarity, does that mean he still has feelings for her or would he be glad if it were her corpse instead?

Indeed the whole Sandy scenario plays a secondary part in the plot and yet a pivotal role in McCabe being able to finally let go of the past and some of the pain he endured because of her. I think most readers who have been through a contentious break-up or divorce will be able to understand the randomness of the occurrence and the importance of the gesture.

The victim takes a back seat in this story while the witness takes centre stage. Unusual yet very effective.

I received a copy of this book via Edelweiss, courtesy of HarperCollins.

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