Her Final Hour is the second in the DI Gina Harte series, but can easily be read as a standalone. I haven’t read the first and had no problems following along.
Readers with triggers should be aware of the following (not unexpected in a murder thriller, but I include the warnings all the same); Rape, sexual abuse, marital abuse, physical abuse of a child, controlling relationship partner, torture, forced drugging, gaslighting, strangulation, burning of remains, Stepford Wife syndrome.
Harte is an interesting character as protagonist in a police procedural, because she isn’t the usual thirtysomething. She’s a grandmother and an experienced police officer with trauma in her past which makes her both relatable to the reader and empathetic to the crime victims for whom she seeks justice.
The brutal murder of a young mother with an apparently perfect life in her own home propels Gina into her first case as SIO (senior investigating officer) on a major crime. Determined to solve it before the killer strikes again, she gets on the killer’s radar herself.
I found Gina intriguing and I’d have liked to see more of her character. The plot seemed to keep circling back to the same point in her history, which although it obviously played a big role in defining who she became, was a long time ago in the timeline of the book and there was a lot more to her than that I wanted to know about.
The story moved about between multiple viewpoints, so we knew what was going on fairly early and got to watch Gina figuring it out as the evidence came in. It did occasionally become repetitive as the same scene was retold twice from different viewpoints, and the plot had moment of dragging. At the end of the book, I felt the title really didn’t fit; there was more than one murder and ‘Her Final Hour’ really only applied to a brief scene at the very beginning. There were a couple of interesting twists, but I didn’t come away with any sense of particular enjoyment or a desire to read any more of the author’s works. It was just an okay read, and therefore I’m giving it three stars.
Her Final Hour is available now.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.