Then She Was Gone by Luca Veste

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Then She Was Gone by Luca Veste

Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: It's number five in the Murphy and Rossi series but works well as a standalone and it's a more than decent read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 448 Date: December 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 978-1471141393

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Tim Johnson took his baby daughter out one day and in the course of their walk he was attacked and the baby was stolen. But there was a problem: only Tim seemed to believe that there was a baby and the police were convinced that there was an entirely different crime and that Johnson was their only suspect. He went to prison and was largely forgotten about.

A year later another case began rather annoyingly for Liverpool-based DI David Murphy and DS Laura Rossi. They don't usually get involved with missing persons cases and particularly not when they're asked to keep their investigation quiet. You see, the missing person is Sam Byrne who's on course to be elected as one of the youngest MPs at Westminster and - as is the way of these things - he's tipped for the very top. His parents and the campaign team don't want to raise a hue and cry only to find that the twenty-six year old has gone of for a relaxing weekend somewhere and stayed a bit longer than he expected. The problem is that as Murphy and Rossi investigate they realise that the private Sam Byrne was distinctly unpleasant and there's a trail of crimes that someone seems determined to avenge.

I'm not a fan of joining a series when it's already well into its stride, but a sleepless night and nothing to read convinced me that my thinking was wrong and I'm rather glad. It might be number five in the series but I was never left with a feeling of not knowing what was going on - or that I had no need to read earlier books in the series because I already knew what had happened. So - a good standalone. It's an engaging plot too: the situation escalates quickly and Murphy and Rossi struggle to work out what's going on. It's tempting to disregard what happened when Sam Byrne was at university, but everything seems to lead back to that time.

Like Luca Veste himself, DS Laura Rossi is of Italian and Scouse heritage, but with Rossi it seems to be the Italian in her that's winning the fight. She's feisty, conflicted when it comes to family loyalties and very good at her job. For me she was the stand-out character, perhaps because Veste has invested more of himself in her. Murphy didn't come across quite as well, but that's more because of the strength of Rossi than a weakness in Murphy and it certainly won't stop me looking for earlier - and future - books in the series.

The ending took me by surprise: I certainly didn't see it coming. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.

For more crime from the wrong side of the Pennines, try Lost Souls by Neil White.

Buy Then She Was Gone by Luca Veste at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Then She Was Gone by Luca Veste at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Then She Was Gone by Luca Veste at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Then She Was Gone by Luca Veste at Amazon.com.


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