This review is written with thanks to Headline and Netgalley for my copy of Quieter Than Killing.
Quieter Than Killing is the fourth instalment in the series featuring DI Marnie Rome. In this novel, Marnie and her team are searching for a dangerous killer when she is the victim of a burglary and a child from the local area is discovered missing. They don't appear to be connected, but as Marnie delves deeper, she is able to forge links between the cases: links that trace back to Marnie herself. Can Marnie and her team find the perpetrator against the odds?
Police procedural novels such as Quieter Than Killing live or die by their main characters, the team of detectives involved in the investigation which is central to the plot. This is no different, and Hilary's characters are one of the novel's key strengths. Hilary gives us insight into each character's personal life. Not only does this give the characters layers which highlight their more human elements, but it allows Hilary to explore themes such as racism and homophobia which may not be pertinent to a specific plot. It took me some time to get to know the characters in Quieter Than Killing, as having not read any of the previous instalments, I was not aware of how the characters had been portrayed prior to this, but I am left wanting more from this group of characters, and have ordered the other three novels to make up for what I have missed.
There are three different strands to Quieter Than Killing, and this could have been confusing as I tried to piece together what was happening. However, this was not the case, and Hilary's fluid writing style allowed me to keep on top of the plot developments quite easily. The plot is clever, but not written in such a way that it is difficult to understand, which I found particularly appealing.
Through Quieter Than Killing, Hilary introduces the reader to several themes, such as abuse, gang culture and life in prison. I admire her for addressing these issues from the darker side of society as they are not often tackled with such honesty in similar novels. It would be easy for Hilary to rely on stereotypes to inform this aspect of the novel, but Quieter Than Killing is clearly thoroughly researched and this gave it a more authentic feel, which allowed me to become immersed in Marnie's investigation more easily.
Quieter Than Killing is published on 9th March and is available from Amazon.