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Grey, Isabelle - 'Good Girls Don't Die'
Paperback: 400 pages (Oct. 2014) Publisher: Quercus ISBN: 1782067663

A young woman goes missing, her parents are frantic and the police can find no trace of her or evidence that she hasn't disappeared voluntarily. Polly Sinclair was a pretty and popular student who was last seen in a local bar in Colchester. DS Grace Fisher is tasked with investigating. She has recently been appointed to the Essex force having resigned from her previous position as a Detective Inspector in another force. She had reported a fellow officer and been driven out of her job and her home by his friends, including her husband who had brutally attacked her. Her confidence and self-esteem is rock bottom and she is paranoid about her new team trusting her.

Then a different young woman is found murdered on the street. She seems to have been posed. There is no evidence to suggest that the cases are linked but could it be a coincidence? The police are being pilloried in the press and an old friend of Grace, Rowena, reconnects with her but turns out to be a local journalist keen for her chance at the big time and Grace starts to doubt whether she can trust her either, but she desperately needs a friend.

As the murders stack up, the press attention causes worried senior officers to feel the need for a case review team, which, unfortunately for Grace, is led by her old boss.

GOOD GIRLS DON'T DIE is an enjoyable read, showing how vulnerable the police are to the close scrutiny of the press who at the end of the day are only interested in a bigger headline than the opposition and who, sometimes, are prepared to go to extreme lengths to obtain it. The book also explores the impact on individuals whose lives are ruined through no fault of their own. The theme of drunken young women and those who prey on them abusing, assaulting or even murdering them is also highlighted.

The writer is very accomplished, moving the pace where necessary and drawing the characters skilfully.

Susan White, England
January 2015

More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 22/01/2015 13:53