Book Review: The Woman in the Wood by M.K. Hill
When an angry drunk is killed by a train, at first DI Sasha Dawson thinks it’ll be an open and shut case. It quickly turns out to be anything but, when it’s found that a cattle prod was used to drive the dead man to his death, along with acid being thrown in his eyes. Who would want to kill someone in such a brutal way? What did ‘Deano’ do to anyone?
Turns out that three years earlier, Deano was involved in something very ugly, along with three of his friends, one of those being reality TV star ‘Abs’ Cruikshank. A young girl went missing after a night out in a pub in rural Wales, the four men being the last to see her. Someone believes the four men did something to Rhiannon Jenkins. And someone wants to see them pay.
The story is told mostly from the viewpoints of Sasha, as the lead investigator, and Abs - who comes off shallow and self-obsessed, but is also a basically decent person desperate to get on in life doing the only thing he knows how to do - trying to figure out what’s going wrong before he turns into the next body Sasha has to investigate. Sasha was actually quite hard to get a handle on; this is the second book featuring her, and maybe in the first one she was given a bit more of a personality, but in this one she’s pretty much just ‘too busy, has white hair, drives a convertible’ and that’s really all I know about her. Abs was way more fascinating, despite his apparent shallowness. He thinks he knows the truth, but as the mystery unfolds, it slowly becomes clear that something a great deal darker is really going on.
The mystery here is intriguing, and I didn’t see the twist coming. While it didn’t come completely out of left field, all the players being on the board from early on, nothing was really telegraphed, so we had to figure it out along with Abs and Sasha.
I would have liked this better if I’d liked Sasha better, I think; she was a bit too much of a cipher, particularly in contrast with Abs’ out-there, gregarious personality. Overall, the story is good. I’ll give it four stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.