Though this is actually the fifth in the series, I didn’t know that when I started reading and had no idea until I looked at Amazon to get the link for the review. It stands perfectly well alone.
Trigger warnings for elder abuse (including murder), rape, sexual assault and drug use should be advised before you consider whether to read this book.
There are actually several cases running in parallel in this police procedural set among Greater London’s southern boroughs. The author is a police officer and has an intimate knowledge of how cases are actually solved and how the law really works, both to the benefit of the police and in some cases, protecting criminals from detection. Because of this, there was never anything in the story which felt incorrect or unrealistic, right down to the frustration of the police when things didn’t go there way. There were no unlikely coincidences or miracle leaps of intuition; the crimes were solved by solid police work, evidence gathering, fingerprints, DNA, CCTV, interviewing witnesses and following up leads.
The problem I had was that the focus wasn’t always on the ‘big criminal’ - an individual who was stalking elderly victims, breaking into their homes and traumatising them before graduating to murder - but got diverted much of the time to a completely different person whose crime was similar in some respects and therefore ended up a focus of the investigation. Both cases being solved was satisfying, but I would have liked a lot more time in the ‘big criminal’s’ point of view, because the reveal of his identity really did come as something of a deus ex machina at the end of the book. There was too much focus on other characters at the expense of that part of the plot, and while yes, you don’t want to give the identity of the mastermind up too early, you do actually need to plant the clues there from early on so the reader can realize they were there.
It’s a hard book to rate, because I liked Charlie, the police officer from whose point of view we follow the investigations, and the accuracy and realism of the police procedures were excellent, but as a mystery, the pieces really weren’t all in place. I don’t think I can give it any more than three stars.
Daddy's Girls is available now.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review via NetGalley.