Title: The Reckoning
Author: Jane Casey
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Crime Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Detective Constable Maeve Kerrigan is back, and this time, she has a very strange case to deal with. Someone is murdering accused pedophiles in horrible ways, and though many believe these men got what was coming to them and aren’t interested in wholeheartedly pursuing the serial killer, Maeve believes that they deserve justice, no matter their crime. What makes things worse is that Maeve was assigned to the case along with Detective Derwent, someone new to their department, and he clearly has a problem with women in general, and Maeve in particular. As Maeve continually tries to prove herself, she must deal with shocking revelations at every turn as it becomes more clear what exactly they’re dealing with.
It’s rare that a second novel in a series lives up to everything the first promised it would be, but The Reckoning does just that. Once again, the reader has Maeve as a capable, smart, and savvy detective who must face discrimination and prejudice at work because of her gender. It’s not as blatant as it is in The Burning, but it’s definitely present, especially through Derwent, who should be an incredibly unlikeable character. It’s a testament to Casey’s writing talent that, though the reader’s initial opinion of him is negative, he really grows on the reader as the book progresses.
The case in The Reckoning is fascinating. It’s easy to understand the feeling of those who think that the pedophiles got what they deserved – after all, there is little that turns the stomach more than those who prey on innocent children. At the same time, though, Maeve’s conviction that these are human beings who deserve justice, no matter the nature of their crime, is admirable and speaks to her integrity. It’s also great to watch Maeve come up with theories about the crimes – watching her grow in her role as a detective and become more confident is very gratifying.
About halfway through The Reckoning, the storyline takes a drastic turn as new evidence comes to light. The case is seemingly wrapped up, only to have a whole new aspect and direction open up. For a regular reader of crime fiction, this presents something fresh and different. Instead of having a linear case (with twists and turns, of course) that is wrapped up at the end of the novel, the book moves along one path and then jumps completely to a different one that’s equally engaging. It’s very well done.
With The Reckoning, Jane Casey has become one of my favorite crime fiction authors. Both of her books are so well-written and gripping, and her primary and secondary characters are incredibly well developed. She writes such intricate layers in her novels, and it’s a joy to peel them back and see what’s underneath. I’m already eagerly anticipating the next novel in this wonderful series.
Other books by Jane Casey: