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O'Connor, Niamh - 'If I Never See You Again'
Paperback: 400 pages (Jan. 2011) Publisher: Transworld Ireland ISBN: 1848270720

This is a first novel from an established Irish true-crime editor and author.

The main character is Jo Birmingham, newly promoted to Inspector, a single mum of a teenager and a baby. Her boss is her ex-husband who is now living with his secretary. She lands her first murder case as lead officer which she quickly suspects is in fact a serial killer. The victims that she locates seem to be random but the deaths are connected by the fact that they all have body parts removed and left at the scene.

I found Jo's leaps of understanding and her ability to make links between disparate facts quite unbelievable. I also found the pressures on her as a single mother having to continually prove herself to her male colleagues and battle against her ex-husband's seeming need to undermine her every move, both predictable and stereotypical.

Finally her one woman campaign to change the Irish court system to give victims a voice felt like a badly bolted on subtext. The fact that this subject is obviously a major issue for the author is made clear by the author's note at the end but the addition of the theme didn't do this book any favours. In my opinion, she would have done better to have made the issue the central theme of the book.

Will I be looking out for any more books by this author? On the basis of this, I don't think so.

Read another review of IF I NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN.

Susan White, England
February 2011

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 12/08/2012 09:47