Mercy Killing by Lisa Cutts

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Mercy Killing by Lisa Cutts

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The violent murder of a convicted paedophile puts the team at East Rise CID under intense pressure. How do you motivate yourself and others to find the murderer when secretly you'd probably like to shake his hand? At times it's not an easy read, but it's authentic and thought provoking.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 432 Date: October 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1471153105

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Albie Woodville was involved with the local amateur dramatic society and when it was decided that they would stage Annie and involve children from a local school the news was broken that he was a convicted paedophile. A local widow with two young children had started a tentative relationship with him: she terminated the relationship and the amdrams told him that he was no longer a member. It was bad enough, but deserved - then someone else took the law into their own hands and decided that the world would be a better place without Albie Woodville in it. He was brutally murdered.

The team at East Rise CID were under pressure: when the case broke they were already short of staff. It's difficult to motivate yourself and others to investigate the murder of a man whose death leaves the world a better, safer place. How do you manage to think of Woodville as a victim when he took the innocence of so many young children, forcing them to retell what had happened, in court? There was no shortage of suspects - some of Woodville's victims lived locally - some were believed in court, some were not - but how do you put them through a murder investigation without making life infinitely worse for them?

Then there's the other side of the story: you can almost justify vigilantism with a proven perpetrator, but what happens when the person who was accused wasn't actually guilty? When the victim was no such thing, but circumstances had simply got away with them? How do you control what the vigilantes do - and what are their motivations? What are their hidden secrets?

I found this a compelling read but it certainly wasn't a comfortable one. Lisa Cutts was a serving officer with Kent Police for a number of years and what you get in Mercy Killing is the way that investigations actually work. It's not a case of one maverick police officer going off on his own and solving the case despite his superiors' best attempts to thwart him (John Rebus makes for good reading, but it's hardly authentic) - it's about team work, a lot of tedious investigation and - just occasionally a break that might be called lucky. For those of us who like to think of the police as the barrier between peace and an anarchic world, the fragility of the force makes for uncomfortable reading.

Mercy Killing is the first in the East Rise Incident Room series. There's a very believable cast of characters in there and I'm already wondering how some of them are getting on. I'm very much looking forward to meeting them again. Thanks to the publishers for sending a review copy to the Bookbag.

We've read a couple of other books by Lisa Cutts - Never Forget and Remember, Remember. Both are good reads. If you've read those and would like something similar then we've no hesitation in recommended anything by Elizabeth Haynes.

Buy Mercy Killing by Lisa Cutts at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mercy Killing by Lisa Cutts at

Buy Mercy Killing by Lisa Cutts at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Mercy Killing by Lisa Cutts at


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