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White, Neil - 'Last Rites'
Paperback: 502 pages (Apr. 2009) Publisher: AVON ISBN: 1847560199

This is the third novel in the series by Neil White about reporter Jack Garrett and his policewoman girlfriend Laura McGanity. I love the writing style of this author. I enjoy the way he spends different chapters looking at different characters and swaps between them just when you don't want to. I also particularly enjoy the interesting subject matter of the murders that his characters solve. Although not quite as nail biting as the last book in this series, LOST SOULS, LAST RITES still had me hooked and staying up late to finish it.

The most frustrating part of the book is that, just like real life, all is not well in Jack and Laura's previously happy relationship. The tensions of fighting Laura's ex-husband for custody of their son is taking its toll and they are very obviously not as comfortable with each other as they once were. Work tensions also run rife, as Laura has taken herself off the murder squad in order to have regular hours and satisfy the demands of the court. Jack is still a reporter but is also taking more routine stories in order to bring in a steady income. They seem to take their frustrations out on each other and, by being unable to talk about how they really feel, bicker and fight over silly things instead.

True to form, an interesting case comes to light just at the right moment and both Jack and Laura are dragged into it; initially causing even more problems in their relationship but, finally, bringing them closer together again. The case involves a gruesome stabbing and the disappearance of the murder suspect. There also seems to be some kind of link between the case and witchcraft, as members of the local coven are also being targeted with motiveless violence.

A breath-taking final chapter brings everything to a head and solves the case; bringing - as is the way in the earlier books about him - another lucrative story for Jack and a restoration of self-esteem for Laura. Who knows what the future will hold for this pair. I do hope that the books in this series don't fall into the repetitive cycle that I can see starting to develop, and that White continues to thrill his readers with controversial subjects for the cases.

Overall a most enjoyable read. I am very much a fan of Neil White and am looking forward to reading his next book.

Amanda C M Gillies, Scotland
August 2009

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 8/08/2009 18:40