Cruel Acts is another book I’ve been desperate to read all year and I finally had the chance to get round to it this week. This is another fantastic addition to the Maeve Kerrigan and Josh Derwant series.
How can you spot a murderer?
Leo Stone is a ruthless killer – or the victim of a miscarriage of justice. A year ago, he was convicted of the murder of two women and sentenced to life in prison. But now he’s free, and according to him, he’s innocent.
DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent are determined to put Stone back behind bars where he belongs, but the more Maeve finds out, the less convinced she is of his guilt.
Then another woman disappears in similar circumstances. Is there a copycat killer, or have they been wrong about Stone from the start?
Maeve Kerrigan and Josh Derwent are my favourite duo in crime fiction. If you are new to this series, you may think that from the outset that they don’t get on, as they are constantly bickering with each other. Maeve is also never keen to follow orders from Josh, her superior. But this is what makes both of their characters really come to life. They really do like each other, although they may not always display this outwardly.
What Maeve and Josh are faced with in the latest book in this series is the release of a convicted killer, over a new revelation overturned the jury’s guilty verdict. This is after it becomes known that they had access to prior reports about him which would have influenced their judgement. The killer, Leo Stone, was found guilty of murdering two women, and he could be behind the disappearance of a third, although a body has never been found. It is up to Maeve and Josh to prove Leo Stone’s guilt but everything is put into question when another woman goes missing.
Maeve and Josh have a tough job on their hands in proving Stone’s guilt, especially when one of the family members of the victims strongly believes that he is innocent. So from the beginning, I couldn’t be sure if he was the right person, even though there are some very chilling scenes, especially when Maeve interviews him, which will make you think so.
You really get a sense that it is going to be so difficult to have a fresh trial. So much information about Stone and the murders have been written about which is in the public domain. How is it possible for a jury now not to be influenced by what has been reported?
In this book we also see Georgia Shaw’s character grow, who Jane Casey introduced to us in the last book, Let the Dead Speak. Georgia begins to show her true colours, and this is in stark comparison to how she was in the previous novel. I must admit that I didn’t quite like where her character was heading as I felt that she was a good addition to the team and I didn’t like what I was seeing, but perhaps this is what her character needed at this point in time. You can see her growing in confidence, if maybe, a little bit too quickly.
Cruel Acts is a clever and totally absorbing crime novel. I can’t wait to catch up with Maeve and Josh again.
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication date: 18th April 2019
Print length: 368 pages
If you would like to purchase Cruel Acts, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.