DS Jane Bennett takes charge of South London's Lewisham murder squad following the temporary suspension of her boss, DI Mike Lockyer. His involvement with a female witness resulted in her murder. Mike returns to work but he's a shadow of the detective he was a few months before.
Bennett gets a desperate call from an old friend to say that her husband, retired colleague Mark Leech, has gone missing. Blood spatters found at his home suggests that she doesn't have long to find him.
When Jane is sent to a site in Elmstead Woods she stumbles upon a sinister murder scene. A tomb has been created, and the body she finds is not Mark's - as she dreaded and suspected - but that of missing university student Maggie Hungerford. Her killer recorded her last moments, even providing an air supply which was only cut off when the game lost its thrill.
Two men admit to having a sexual relationship with Maggie. Both deny murder. Someone is lying. And Mark is still missing. When another tomb is discovered, an anonymous tip and mounting evidence suggest a disturbing link which threatens to derail both cases and let a murderer walk free.
Lockyer is shocked into supporting Bennett in a case which becomes ever more ominous and dangerous as the investigation deepens. They know their hunt is for a killer with a mind so twisted that he, or she, is likely to stop at nothing.
I’ve become a huge fan of Clare Donoghue’s writing since I read the first book in the DI Mike Lockyer and DS Jane Bennet series. No Place to Die is the second book. I thought what made this book interesting was that Clare chose to tell this story from DS Bennet’s perspective. It was great getting to know more about Jane and it was also interesting to see how she saw DI Lockyer from her point of view.
The novel opens with the mysterious disappearance of a former police officer, Mark Leech. The case is important to Jane as Mark’s wife Sue is an old friend of hers. But Mark’s disappearance has to come second when a grisly murder scene is discovered. A young girl has been found dead in a tomb in Elmstead Woods. After receiving a tip off from the public, Jane thinks she is a step closer to finding Mark, the girl is a surprise discovery. And when it is confirmed that the body is that of missing university student, Maggie Hungerford a fresh investigation is opened.
One of the things I really liked in this book was Jane and Mike’s relationship. It is a little bit rocky at the start of the novel, Mike is still reeling after the events that happened in book one and he is taking counselling sessions. The novels plot is strong and gripped me all the way through, I really liked how Clare weaved together a case which took place in the past and the current case they are facing in the present.
No Place to Die is top crime fiction and I’m sure it won’t be long before I read the next book in the series. I’m going to have to hurry up as the fourth novel comes out this year. Excellent writing and a great story.
Publication date: 12th March 2015
Print length: 400 pages