Publisher’s synopsis:

You’ve got to be in the club to know the truth.

Everyone’s heard the rumours about elite gentlemen’s clubs, where the champagne flows freely, the parties are the height of decadence . . . and the secrets are darker than you could possibly imagine.

DS Maeve Kerrigan finds herself in an unfamiliar world of wealth, luxury and ruthless behaviour when she investigates the murder of a young journalist, Paige Hargreaves. Paige was working on a story about the Chiron Club, a private society for the richest and most privileged men in London. Then she disappeared.

It’s clear to Maeve that the members have many secrets. But Maeve is hiding secrets of her own – even from her partner DI Josh Derwent. Will she uncover the truth about Paige’s death? Or will time run out for Maeve first?

Review by Linda Hepworth

This is the ninth book in the DS Maeve Kerrigan series and although, on balance, I found it worked reasonably well as a stand-alone novel, there were moments when I felt distracted, curious to know more of her backstory, as well as her relationship with her partner DI Josh Derwent. However, I think that another factor which made it difficult for me to feel fully engaged, was that this was my first attempt at reading an e-book … Corvid-19 meant that print copies weren’t available! As the only way I could read was by sitting in an office chair in front of my desktop computer, at no time did I ever feel as comfortable as I’m used to feeling when I settle down to read so, unable to sit in front of the screen for more than an hour at a time, it took me much longer to read than had I been able to read a paper version … had it not been for these distractions I imagine my final rating would have been 4* rather than 3*!

Bearing all these caveats in mind, I was able to recognise the quality of Jane Casey’s storytelling skills and was impressed both by her character development and her intricate plotting of this dark and disturbing story. Her descriptions of police procedures and relationships within the team were convincing and I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Maeve and Josh which, however much they may at times irritate one another, demonstrates a bond which creates its own powerful dynamic in their partnership.

The wide range of themes included (privilege, disparity between social classes, domestic violence, abuse of power, obsession, secrecy to name just a few) add layers of depth to the story. Its central, very topical theme, which explores how privileged, powerful and arrogant men are able to abuse women with impunity, using the “old-boys’ network” to ensure protection from being held to account for their actions, felt all too disturbingly credible. All of these themes would make this an interesting 5* choice for book groups.

With thanks to Harper Collins and Readers First for providing me with a free e-book of this novel in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

Personal Read: 3*
Group Read: 4*

Harper Collins Publishers Ltd e-book (16th April 2020)