Synopsis: A hitman: DI Gavin Sexton is looking into a spate of teenage suicides when he encounters a young girl, paralyzed with locked-in syndrome. Unable to communicate in any other way, she blinks the words: 'I hired a hitman'.
Was it suicide? Recovering from loss of sight, Sexton's old partner DI Jo Birmingham is keeping her promise to investigate the apparent suicide of Sexton's own wife, Maura. But why does he no longer seem to care?
Secrets thrive on stigma: Sexton believes the girl who cannot move has suffered enough. But how far should he go to protect her? And what if Jo discovers an uncomfortable truth?
Kat's Review: I have always enjoyed this series featuring DI Jo Birmingham, and the last book was left with a potentially great start for the next book. The synopsis also sounded intriguing so I was really keen to get started with the latest instalment in the series. What threw me overall was how little Jo actually featured in this book. I think you would be hard pressed to say 25%! Instead we get to see her colleague Gavin Sexton take more of a central lead along with DS Aishling McConigle.
The story sounded intriguing, but what frustrated me was the feeling that the general story was very disjointed. There were huge sections on the ‘if’s, buts and maybe’s’ and not enough of everything else. I also managed (don’t know how) to get really confused keeping track of all the teenagers names. This alone, and then coupled with the fact that Jo Birmingham features so little made me feel like this book just didn’t fit.
I also don’t recall Gavin Sexton being such an idiot! It seemed like he had morphed into a different character in this book and I felt like I was reading somebody’s first (and clumsy) attempt at a series. The book wasn’t a total write off and there are glimmers of O’Connor’s talent as an author. But I felt like the series had made a shift that wasn’t necessary. Overall, and towards the end of the book it seemed to be coming together a little more and my interest was higher than it had been. That said, this was way off the mark for NOC, and I ended up feeling really disappointed.
I have been a fan of this series, but as I’ve said in previous reviews for her books; I feel like I’m waiting for the brilliance to shine through. Thankfully, the book ended with an insight and (hopefully) the return of Jo back as the lead character (which is as it should be!). I hope that people continue reading this series and don’t base all of her books on this single one as I feel the readers would be missing out. I never like giving books such low star ratings, but I really couldn’t justify any more that this based on this story alone. I can only hope that the next book sees the return of that great writing Niamh O’Connor has produced in the past.