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A Little Death by A.J. Cross

May 1, 2017

Dr Kate Hanson and the Unsolved Crime Unit are facing their most challenging cold case yet: the year-old murder of a female student.

When, a year after she went missing, the body of 19-year-old student Elizabeth Williams is discovered in a field near her college, Dr Kate Hanson and her colleagues are faced with a seemingly impossible challenge. The badly decomposed remains are offering up few clues, and witnesses are proving either unreliable or reluctant to talk at all.

 

With little in the way of forensic evidence, Kate realizes that if she is to have any chance of discovering who killed Elizabeth, she must find out what motivated the killer, the reason behind the murder, the why. To do that, she must look beyond what she and her colleagues are being told by those who knew Elizabeth – and into the twisted psyche of a dangerous murderer: a killer whom Kate suspects is ready to kill again.

A Little Death is the third novel in the series about forensic psychologist Dr Kate Hanson and the Birmingham Unsolved Crime Unit.

 

Elizabeth Williams was 19 when she disappeared. Her decaying body is found a year later, buried in a field. I’m not really sure that this qualifies it as a cold case, but maybe I am just splitting hairs?

It’s not clear why she died, or what the motive was for this killing – but it is later determined that her body had been moved.

This is the third Kate Hanson book which considers in interesting detail the importance of input from this forensic psychologist.

There is a plethora of suspects and those grow ever wider as the case grows with a violent attack on a second woman but then stalls for lack of motive or any clear description of the attacker.

Suspects are questioned and cross questioned time and again, with many unsavoury moments displayed by the suspects, but the lack of concrete evidence leaves the team frustrated and anxious.

Meanwhile, Kate is steeling herself to break some family news to her daughter, Maisie and is set on a course of no romantic entanglements for the foreseeable – a step she thinks will help to keep her emotionally safe.

This is a pretty straightforward police procedural, peppered with red herrings to keep you guessing and with a motive that is not uncovered until near the end of the book.

It is an enjoyable read and certainly feels strongly that it is an authentic police procedural , though it slightly dips in the middle.

A Little Death is published by Severn House on 1st May 2017

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