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The Stranger You Know    by Jane Casey order for
Stranger You Know
by Jane Casey
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Stranger You Know is the fourth (following The Last Girl) in Jane Casey's British police procedural series starring smart young London detective Maeve Kerrigan.

Maeve has for some time been partnered with a more senior officer, DI Josh Derwent, a 'brilliant copper' who seems to delight in making everyone else's (but especially Maeve's) life difficult. He gets into his own difficulties this time around, while readers (and Maeve) learn about the back story that made him into the ornery character he is today.

Maeve learned in the previous episode that their boss, Chief Superintendent Charles Godley, 'was utterly, totally corrupt', but took no action. This is not resolved this time around, but does increase the tension whenever they meet. Maeve's lover Rob is away for most of this episode. And she's still anxious about the dangerous stalker, Chris Swain, who always seems to find her.

When The Stranger You Know opens, the police are on the hunt for a serial killer, whom women seem to trust since he gains entry into their homes. There's some evidence that a police officer might be involved. A senior colleague of Maeve's, DCI Una Burt, is convinced that Josh Derwent is the killer as his teenage girlfriend was killed and mutilated in a similar manner.

This becomes very awkward for Maeve, who is pulled into the investigation, but under orders to say nothing to Josh. And Josh has long been obsessed with his dead girlfriend's cold case, so wants in on this one very badly. Maeve soon gets into trouble by working with him- and they do find links to the cold case, before Maeve is taken off the investigation.

Maeve is sure she has the answers and will prove it if it kills her - which it nearly does. And along the way, she learns a secret about Josh Derwent, 'just one more secret to keep.' I like this series very much, for its well developed plots, its small mysteries within the overall mystery, and its spirited and likeable characters. Strongly recommended.

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