No Place To Die by Clare Donoghue (Bennett & Lockyer #2)

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Synopsis: DS Jane Bennett takes charge of South London’s Lewisham murder squad following the temporary suspension of her boss, DI Mike Lockyer. His involvement with a female witness resulted in her murder. Mike returns to work but he’s a shadow of the detective he was a few months before. Bennett gets a desperate call from an old friend to say that her husband, retired colleague Mark Leech, has gone missing. Blood spatters found in the home suggest that she doesn’t have long to find him.

When Jane is sent to a site in Elmstead Woods she stumbles upon a sinister murder scene. A tomb has been created, and the body she finds is not Mark’s – as she dreaded and suspected – but that of missing university student, Maggie Hungerford. Her killer recorded her last moments, even providing an air supply which was only cut off when the game lost its thrill. Two men admit to having had a sexual relationship with Maggie. Both deny murder. Someone is lying. And Mark is still missing. When another tomb is discovered, an anonymous tip and mounting evidence suggest a disturbing link which threatens to derail both cases and let a murderer walk free. Lockyer is shocked into supporting Bennett in a case which becomes ever more ominous and dangerous as the investigation deepens. They know that their hunt is

Kat’s Rating: 4/5

KAT’S REVIEW: I read the first in the series entitled Never Look Back and only rated in 3/5. The majority of this surrounded how I felt about one of the main characters Mike Lockyer. Mike Lockyer is a DI and along with his colleague DS Jane Bennett, he certainly didn’t shine in the first book, and I would even go as far as to say he was a little dull. Having read the second book in the series a couple of things have slotted into place for me. Sometimes when you read about a lead character in a series they are somehow damaged, or have major issues over something that may have happened in the past. With Mike Lockyer, we didn’t have that as a basis to start with. What we did have was a reason in book 1 for him to become a damaged man. Looking back after reading book 2 I feel completely differently now and feel like as a reader we have seen him go through the worst experience, and instead of seeing him just bounce back like a miracle (as many characters seemingly do), we see him in all his damaged glory trying to rebuild himself and get back into work.

At the start of book 2, Mike has been instructed to take a back seat and Jane Bennett is now leading the team. The story itself surrounds Lewisham Murder Squad investigating the discovery of a body in an underground tomb. If you are claustrophobic, it doesn’t make for pleasant reading! In addition to this murder, the disappearance of a retired police officer also rears its head and we see Jane under an immense amount of pressure. We see both Jane and Mike at their best and worst and as a reader it makes you feel far more attached to them as characters and in turn the series. The multiple plot threads were cleverly done and keep you guessing.

This second book was a huge improvement on Book 1, and I can also see why Clare Donoghue felt the need for the story in Book 1 as it lays some groundwork and history on the two characters. This series has taking a brilliant upward turn with book 2, so much so that I may well have to change my order of books to read next and plough straight on to book 3. Book 3 entitled Trust No One is due for release 10 March 2016.

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