Detective Iris Locke Book 1 by Geraldine Hogan
Published on: August 23, 2019
There’s something almost joyous about being at the start of a new detective series. The Detective Iris Lock series is just that – a new series by Geraldine Hogan set in Limerick, Ireland with new flawed characters to love, be frustrated with, and hope at the end of the day they just make it home.
When Detective Iris Locke returns home to Limerick, her father thinks she is making a terrible mistake. Jack Locke worked on the force for forty years, and he doesn’t want his beloved daughter coming up against the same twisted individuals he has. But when Iris is called out to a ramshackle cottage in the nearby countryside where a mother and her two children have been shot in their beds, she knows she can’t stand aside. Especially as she knows the woman who has been killed, Anna Crowe.
Iris remembers Anna well. Nobody from Limerick could forget Anna, whose baby sister Janey was snatched from her pram, never to be found again. It was the one haunting case that Jack Locke couldn’t crack and Iris can’t help but wonder if Anna’s death has something to do with Janey’s disappearance.
But by reopening the old case, Iris is also reopening old wounds for the team. She’s determined to untangle the dark secrets that lead to one sister vanishing and the other’s death – even if it means digging into the past of her old friends and family, and revealing truths they’ll do anything to keep hidden …
One of the things I noticed right off the bat in the first sections was an overwhelming sense of being kept at arms length by the characters. Of not being invited in by the story. Slowly, I realized it was because the characters weren’t inviting each other in. To me, it seemed that each investigator was determined to keep their own counsel for the most part. Slattery and Iris continually doing their own investigations and digging where they could, but not really discussing it with each other and therefore no major discussions that we, the reader, get to be part of and learn from. Please don’t misunderstand – there are discussions going on with certain individuals stating their case or giving us glimpses. But it never feels full and complete, although there was one point where Iris informs Slattery of where her thoughts were leading that feels more cohesive than others….toward the Baby Fairley case. However, it wasn’t just the two main characters it was the secondary characters too, such as Grady. Every investigator felt like they were an individual island – there to do their job and go home. Grady even admits it to us in a brief section.
Our two main characters each have an issue or two they need to overcome before they will start opening up to us and to each other. For Iris, it is the stigma that she is the daughter of a well known detective celebrity of sorts. This is her first murder squad and to become a full-time member of the team she needs to get out of the probationary period. For Slattery, he has his own demons that we don’t necessarily know all about, but there are some that are obvious. He drinks too much, that is for certain and then during the investigation his wife (separated) has a car accident, which forces upon him even more to cope with.
The story itself is well written and contains a twist I didn’t see coming. At the end, everyone involved knows healing is needed and we’re left wondering and hoping that this is the start of this team slowly being able to support each other from a human standpoint, which is greatly needed for all of them.
Rating: 4 stars
Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.