Wrong Place is the second gripping crime novel in the DC Maggie Neville series from Michelle Davies, following her critically acclaimed debut Gone Astray.
Two women lie hospital beds, both subjects of police investigations.
One, a vulnerable old lady, has been assaulted in her own home. Suspected to be the fifth victim of a young couple targeting pensioners, her injuries indicate an escalation in violence from the perpetrators.
The second, a wife, has been attacked by her own husband, who subsequently fails in his own attempt to kill himself.
Whilst there are no obvious parallels between the victims, DC Maggie Neville, the Family Liaison Officer involved in both cases, begins to question what happened.
Is it simply a case of both being in the wrong place at the wrong time or is something far more sinister at play?
I can’t believe that it has taken me this long to get round to reading Wrong Place. I loved the first book in the DC Maggie Neville series Gone Astray so I was excited to see where Michelle Davies would take Maggie and the rest of the team next and her second book didn’t disappoint. Michelle’s writing is utterly engaging and by the end of the first chapter I was gripped.
The novel opens with an intriguing prologue set in 1999. We see a group of people, making their way out of a forest; one girl is desperately trying to get her friends to turn back, and we can clearly see her distress. But to what – what is it that is so terrible that the rest of her friends are so desperate to get away from? From the first page, Michelle had me hooked; I had to find out what happened all those years ago and what it was they were running from. Fast forward to the present and the police are investigating a series of burglaries. The suspects (dubbed the con-couple by the media) are targeting elderly people in their homes, but when Della’s Grandmother Sadie is brutally attacked and left for dead, the police believe that the con-couple may be behind it. Maggie is assigned as Della’s family liaison officer but she is soon juggling two cases together when across town, a murder suicide takes place. A woman has been rushed to hospital with severe injuries and her husband is barely alive. As Maggie investigates the two cases a link emerges between them, but how could two, very different cases be linked? And is there something there that links them to the events which happened way back in 1999?
Maggie Neville is fast becoming one of my favourite characters in crime fiction. I find the role of her job absolutely fascinating. As a family liaison officer she is there to support the family of the victim, who are going through the most difficult time in their lives, but she is also there as a detective and as such she has to investigate them. The relationship between a family and an FLO is really interesting and you can see in places where tensions develop, this is particularly the case between Della’s boyfriend and Maggie. Maggie is right there at the epicentre of it all and she has to somehow peel back the layers and work out what is going on. I can see how it can be difficult for an FLO not to form an attachment to the family, particularly when all they want to do is comfort them and reassure them that they are doing everything they can to bring them justice. It must be difficult when they can’t do this as they don’t want to give the family false hope.
As well as juggling two cases in this book, Maggie is also trying to take care of her sister, Lou. Lou’s life is starting to fall apart and this begins to put strains on their relationship. To understand what has happened between Lou and Maggie, I would recommend starting with the first book in the series but Wrong Place can be read as a standalone.
Michelle really pulls Maggie through the ranks in this book; it’s hard to see Maggie ever having any time for herself. I feel that what she really needs is a long holiday, but I doubt that Maggie will be getting one any time soon.
The twist towards the end of the book was definitely an OMG moment. I couldn’t believe what I was reading when the truth was revealed. The twist is heart-breaking, but I won’t be saying any more about it here, you’ll have to read the book and find out.
This is an excellent second novel by Michelle Davies and I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next, next time I’ll make sure that her book is at the top of my reading list. I almost forgot to mention that Michelle leaves this book on a cliff hanger so once you finish this one, you’ll be desperate to read the next.
Publication date: 5th October 2017
Print length: 448 pages