I'm always eager to find a new series, so I was excited about the possibility of this one - even more so, perhaps, since it features a female detective. When I received a copy from Netgalley at no cost for review, I lit into it straightaway. But while I did enjoy it - and I hope to read the follow-up, titled Insincere - in the end my hopes may have been a little too high.
Elizabeth Ireland, a former detective with the Metropolitan Police, has relocated to Cork City, Ireland. She was the lead investigator a decade earlier when serial killer Ross Campbell (dubbed "Teardrop") vanished; now, an obnoxious newspaper reporter in Cork has received a letter supposedly penned by Campbell and announcing he's begun to kill once again. Elizabeth is called in by Cork law enforcement because of her past experience, but she runs into a ton of resentment that only gets worse when she insists Campbell is dead and couldn't have sent the letter.
She does get some support from Frank, a chief detective in Cork City and her main squeeze (although they never seem to have much of a romantic connection - heck, I don't think they ever even kissed, much less, well, you know). The action heats up as one body is found, complete with all the characteristics of the earlier murders of which Campbell was accused - almost all, that is. More murders and more letters follow, and police still have no real clues; profilers and other experts from the original case are called in, and although a couple of suspects emerge, no hard evidence against them can be found. Meanwhile, Elizabeth is harboring a dark secret that only she (and readers!) know, and as she works the new cases, she's dogged by awareness that it may not stay hidden for much longer.
Quite a few characters have roles here - including that of suspects - and it was a little hard for me to keep them straight. Still, the chase kept me guessing and held my interest to the end when yes, I was surprised to learn the killer's identity.
On the other hand, the story seemed a bit disjointed, with a noticeable lack of transition in spots. The proceedings also raised a number of questions in my mind, most of which I can't mention without spoiling it for others (one example, though, is how on earth a 6-foot, 4-inch male can get so drunk on one glass of wine that he's hung over the following day. I know 10-year-olds who can hold their liquor better than that).
All things considered, though, this is an enjoyable book and a good foundation for future installments -- for sure I'll be watching for the next one.
Tear Drop by Joanne Clancy (Amazon Digital Services Inc., August 2015); 199 pp. Kindle edition, 266 paperback.