When CSI Darby McCormick is called to the crime scene, it’s one of the most gruesome she’s ever seen. But the forensic evidence is even more disturbing: someone watched the murder unfold from woodland behind the house – and the killer died in a shoot-out two decades earlier.
The deeper Darby digs, the more horrors come to light. Her prime suspect is revealed as a serial killer on an enormous scale, with a past that’s even more shocking than his crimes, thanks to a long-held secret that could rock Boston’s law enforcement to its core.
Is it possible to steal an identity? Or are dead men walking in Darby’s footsteps? The line between the living and the dead has never been finer.
The Dead Room has been sat on my kindle for a while, a long while (around about five years) and was released earlier than that (2009). I have to say, finally opening it up I was feeling rather guilty about having waited so long to read it and I was also rather nervous. I had it in my head it wouldn’t be any good or I would have read it by now. Thankfully, whilst the guilt didn’t go away, the nerves did after a few pages because this was a pretty good read.
Darby is the type of strong female character I like – determined, driven, incredibly smart and incredibly loyal to her partner (and best friend) Coop, who finds himself in the middle of her investigation and not in a good way. This is because it takes place in the Boston suburb he was born, raised and still lives – a suburb that was once run by Irish gangs and has never quite gotten over it. There is still a code of silence that it’s residents live by, even when the bodies of dead girls are found buried in the basement of a house, and secrets that not even Coop are willing to share.
How these bodies link to the murder of a young mother in another part of Boston and the trail of destruction being left by a mystery gunman is for Darby to figure out, whilst trying not to get killed. She does manage it but not before heading down more than one dead end and getting into more than one dangerous situation. Thankfully, she’s pretty handy with a gun as well as a forensic kit and can take care of herself.
Because I haven’t read the first two books of this series (this is the third) I am not sure how Darby got to be so handy with a gun or why a crime scene investigator also seems to be in charge of the investigation of a murder (people seem to defer to her at each stage). I have to say, I feel like I have missed something as a result, some part of her past which explains who she is and how she behaves.
It wasn’t the end of the world but it did bring me up short a few times in reading the book and pull me out of it. I did find myself wishing I had started at the beginning of the series or had a cheat sheet of characters and their backgrounds. This probably wouldn’t be the same for everyone but for me it meant it didn’t quite stand alone. That said, it was the one downside in a well written, fast-paced, book which I had thought might feel a bit dated but wasn’t at all. I liked it a lot and will definitely read Chris Mooney again.
Publication Date: 31st May, 2012 (first published 1st August, 2009)
Genre: crime fiction
Buy now: Amazon UK / Amazon US