the price of justice

Dublin’s Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan understands justice. She has seen crime and victims, the accused and the convicted. But she’s never seen a case quite like this one before. A woman was brutally murdered and then her body was staged near her husband’s, also murdered, in their local church while the priest was out visiting parishioners. The elaborate drama of the scene demonstrates that the killer has a message, but what is that message exactly, and who is supposed to hear it?

Meanwhile, Sean Hennessey is being released from prison and a documentary about his innocence is the talk of the small town of Clontarf. It’s the town where Frankie grew up, and she remembers seeing Sean’s mother once, passing her near her home as a girl. Shortly after that, Sean’s parents were brutally murdered and his little sister attacked. Sean was convicted of the crimes, but he maintained his innocence during all his years in prison. And it’s Frankie’s sister-in-law who is working on the case of Sean’s innocence.

As more bodies come to light and more clues are left behind to reinforce the killer’s message, Frankie is caught up in questions of truth and justice. Did they send an innocent kid to prison for his parents’ murders? And how does that possibility affect not only him and his family but also law enforcement and even the community at large?

Wrestling with the questions, trying to decode the killer’s messages, uncovering lies and secrets, DC Frankie Sheehan has to put together the puzzle before someone else ends up as part of the deadly message, especially once she realizes that the next victim the killer has in mind is someone close to her.

The Killer in Me is Olivia Kiernan’s second novel in this series, but it reads beautifully as a standalone as well. A fascinating look at Ireland’s garda, this procedural has heart and soul as well as an intricate crime. I loved getting to learn about policing on the other side of the world, but more than that, I adored these characters. The Killer in Me is smart and savvy, horrifying and human, complex and intimate. Reading this has made me want to go back and read her debut novel in this series (Too Close to Breathe) and to keep watching for the next one.

Galleys for The Killer in Me were provided by Dutton through Penguin Random House’s First To Read program, with many thanks.