Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary

A vigilante is loose on the streets of London – people convicted of crimes in the past are being attacked. And now assault has turned to murder. But as DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake look for links between the victims, there are other things vying for their attention. Noah’s brother is missing, in trouble with the local gangs. Marnie’s childhood home, the scene of her parents’ brutal murder at the hands of her adopted brother, has been broken into. And somewhere, a scared child has been kidnapped by a stranger…

As links begin to appear between the events, it seems that someone has a very twisted plan. But as things get worse and worse, it seems that someone has Marnie in their sights – but to what end?

The fourth Sarah Hilary book – following Someone Else’s Skin, No Other Darkness and Tastes Like Fear – and it’s another strong psychological tale. More of Marnie’s backstory is fleshed out, while managing not to require knowledge of the previous books and still leaving the reader wanting a little more. Marnie is a compelling character with her strengths and weaknesses on full display for the reader.

There is an odd duality here, with the story full of real human reactions to the terrifying events that they are exposed to. Hilary balances a reasonably large cast well, with each character feeling like a cohesive part of the narrative. And on the other hand, the villain’s plot is really bonkers, if you stop to think about it, with so many strands to it, goodness know how it doesn’t tumble out of control. But Hilary is an accomplished writer and makes it work. It’s only when you stop and think about it after the fact…

Regardless, this is a gripping thriller that once the plot starts to accelerate, you won’t be able to put it down. For fans of the modern psychological thriller, this is Highly Recommended.

Many thanks to Headline for the review copy. Quieter Than Killing was released on 9th March.

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