Clare Donoghue

No Place To Die

"..Donoghue is a great and exciting writer... "


Jane Bennett, senior Detective Sergeant for the murder squad at her London police precinct, is having a terrible day. Her boss, Detective Inspector Mike Lockyer has just returned to work after two weeks leave, though Jane knows it was really more like a suspension. He's still shaken by the loss of a victim in their last murder case, and Jane is still stung that Lockyer didn't trust her enough to confide in her about the case before it was too late.

But neither of them has the luxury of time to dwell on past grievances. Jane has just received a phone call from a good friend saying that her husband Mark Leech, a retired policeman, has disappeared. When Jane finds dramatic blood splatters in the laundry room, she knows Mark is seriously injured at best, and they don't have any time to waste. And then the body of a young girl is discovered in a tomb under a London greenway, and police resources are stretched even thinner - until it starts to look like the two cases might be related.

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Whilst the plot and writing were on par with Donoghue's previous novel, I felt that the toning down of the characters took away some of the enjoyment from this book. In 'No Place to Die', Lockyer began to lose some of his hard edge, which made him Lockyer. I think I preferred the old and unimproved version: the person who was rude, and made statements that made me cringe, the person who didn't worry who he offended. Sadly, Donoghue has tempered Lockyer and I felt he had lost his edge. Although I am hopeful it will return in time for the next book. 'No Place to Die' sees Bennett and Lockyer looking for a killer of a young girl. Excerpts written from her perspective are included in the book, together with those of another victim. However, despite finishing the book, I am still unsure as to who the other victim was. This review does feel more negative than positive, but that is not my intention. I may be harsh but only because Donoghue is a great and exciting writer and I feel she didn't quite push herself this time after the brilliant, 'Never Look Back'. I felt Lockyer had been 'tampered with' too much and that is purely why I downgraded this novel from a five. But a four rating is still very respectable. I did enjoy 'No Place to Die' and had I not had the comparison of Donoghue's brilliant debut to compare it to, then I would have most probably enjoyed it more. In future, I hope to see Lockyer return to his usual obnoxious self and less time spent around Bennett's family life as it seems to have little relevance to the story.

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