Title: The Murder Wall (Kate Daniels #1)
Author: Mari Hannah
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Published By: Witness Impulse an imprint of HarperCollins
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.
The Murder Wall: It’s where you look death in the face.
Months after discovering a double homicide in a sleepy village, detective Kate Daniels is still haunted by her failure to solve the crime. When a new murder gives Daniels her first case as officer in charge, she jumps at another chance to get it right.
But even more shocking than the brutal killing is the fact that Daniels recognizes the corpse. Eager to prove herself, she decides to keep her connection to the dead man a secret from her team, putting her career in jeopardy as her personal and professional lives threaten to collide.
As the killer continues to claim his victims, Daniels unearths baffling clues in her search for connections among the murders . . . and while she draws closer to finding the culprit, he is watching her
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Kate Daniels with Superintendent Bright at the incident room. Bright has asked to see her crime scene photos. She hesitates before handing them over…
Daniels handed over the photographs. ‘This one’s not going to be straight, guv. We’ve identified the victim but there’s very little to go on.’
He took a cursory look at the photos, sifting them through his hands until he’d seen them all. She thought he looked troubled and waited for him to tell her what was on his mind … but he sat for a moment considering. He was taking a special interest in her case and she was desperate to know why given that he was in the crucial first few hours of an enquiry of his own.
‘Forensics at the scene yet?’ he asked.
‘Yeah, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.’ Daniels chanced her arm. ‘Don’t you even want to know his name, guv?’
She’d hit a nerve. Bright bristled, avoiding eye contact. It was obvious he hadn’t been ready for her direct approach. God knows why, he’d known her long enough.
He sidestepped the question with one of his own. ‘Any press sniffing around?’
‘’Fraid so. Chasing you too, I imagine.’ She nodded towards his own crime-scene photographs. ‘Unfortunately, my scene is less than a block away from last night’s celebrations.’ She stressed the word my, hoping he’d back off a bit. ‘The press were on it like a dog on heat. There was nothing I could do. But I think you’ll find in the cold light of day that most of the media interest will be coming your way, not mine.’
Bright didn’t bite. He just sighed – that same worried look.
‘You don’t need to hold my hand, guv …’ Daniels pointed through the glass partitioning to the outer office. ‘From where I’m standing, you’ve got enough on your plate.’
‘You’re right, I have,’ he said. ‘But this is your first case in overall charge, so let’s just take it gently, shall we?’
Daniels didn’t quite know how to respond. She’d worked her socks off for this opportunity and he was treating her like a rookie on a first assignment. Her hackles were up and it probably showed.
He looked at her like a concerned father would. ‘Don’t take it personally, Kate. I don’t doubt your ability, I just want you to know my door’s always open.’
Bollocks! ‘Is that all, guv?’
Daniels regretted her tone as soon as the words had left her lips. Despite the fact that they were on first-name terms – though never in front of the squad – there was a fine line which she’d just crossed. He may have encouraged her to speak her mind on any subject, but he was still her senior officer and deserved her respect.
‘For now, yes …’ He smiled, an attempt to make amends. ‘Just keep me posted on this one, OK?’
It was a dismissal.
Daniels nodded. She wondered whether an apology was required, decided it wasn’t and headed for the door. With her back turned, he spoke again.
‘You OK, Kate? If you don’t mind me saying so, you don’t look it.’
She turned to face him. ‘I’m fine …’ she said, her eyes drawn back to the photograph on his desk. ‘And I apologize, I should have asked after Stella.’
Bright cleared his throat. Behind his tired eyes, she could see that her concern had been unwelcome, even though she’d supported him through some very dark days following the accident – a crash that had left Stella in a critical condition, fighting for her life. Daniels wondered if he was still waking up in a cold sweat having nightmares at the wheel. Not that he was in any way to blame. An articulated lorry had jackknifed on the M25, wiping out one side of his car. She felt sure he was suffering some kind of survivor guilt. She was equally sure he’d never admit it, for fear of appearing weak.
‘No change …’ he said. ‘I hate to say it, but I hope to God it’s quick.’
Walking back down the corridor, Daniels was too slow to avoid Gormley coming the other way. Like any good detective, he didn’t miss a trick. He saw the troubled look on her face before she had time to conceal it.
‘Everything OK with you and the guv’nor?’ he asked.
‘Yeah, why shouldn’t it be?’
‘I’m a detective and you’re no poker player. It’s obvious he’s pissing you off.’
‘He’s got a lot on his mind, Hank.’
Gormley grinned – he knew something she didn’t.
‘What?’ she asked.
‘Any idea why the ACC wants you on the case?’
‘That’s what he told Bright.’
Daniels looked past him to the door of the incident suite.
She wasn’t the only one holding back.
Review by Angela
I was supplied a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was very excited to read this story as I love a good murder mystery. But I had a hard time getting into this one. It seemed super long! There was so much context and it seemed there were areas that just went on and on that could’ve been cut and the story wouldn’t have suffered from it. To give you an example, I was 50% through and I was at Chapter 51. However, with that being said, I did still like this story and I stayed up way past my bedtime because I got sucked in and and I wanted to finish it. There was a lot of foreshadowing and vagueness that I really like when reading a murder mystery. You actually get to read chapters from the killer’s perspective but it doesn’t give anything away. I did not figure out who the killer was until it was revealed which is awesome. The ending was a bit cliche, but it was still decent. I would probably read more books about Katie Daniels as she is a pretty good character and like I said, I’m a sucker for good murder mystery. I give this story 4 books.
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About the Author
Mari Hannah was born in London and moved north as a child. Her career as a probation officer was cut short when she was injured while on duty, and thereafter she spent several years as a film/television screenwriter. She now lives in Northumberland with her partner, an ex-murder detective. She was the winner of the 2010 Northern Writers’ Award and is a nominee for the 2013 Polari First Book Prize.
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