Published by Harper Collins
Publication date – 16 April 2020
Source – review copy
You’ve got to be in the club to know the truth.
Everyone’s heard the rumours about elite gentlemen’s clubs, where the champagne flows freely, the parties are the height of decadence . . . and the secrets are darker than you could possibly imagine.
DS Maeve Kerrigan finds herself in an unfamiliar world of wealth, luxury and ruthless behaviour when she investigates the murder of a young journalist, Paige Hargreaves. Paige was working on a story about the Chiron Club, a private society for the richest and most privileged men in London. Then she disappeared.
It’s clear to Maeve that the members have many secrets. But Maeve is hiding secrets of her own – even from her partner DI Josh Derwent. Will she uncover the truth about Paige’s death? Or will time run out for Maeve first?
When part of a body washes up on the banks of the Thames Maeve Kerrigan knows she is looking for a killer with a twisted mind. But first they have to identify the body. When evidence allows Maeve to identify the body as missing journalist Paige Hargreaves, she sets off on the trail of Paige’s last big story, an investigation into the mysterious men’s club, the Chiron Club. Soon Maeve and her team are caught up in a privileged world where information is key and the holder of secrets is king.
This is the ninth book in the Kerrigan and Derwent series. Though I’ve not read all of the previous eight books, much to my mistake, the series goes from strength to strength. Each time I read one I think this is the best yet, and each time the following book never disappoints. If like me, you’ve not read all of the series, the books can be read as standalone. But if you don’t read the rest of the books, you will be depriving yourself of some great story-telling.
When Maeve steps into the Chiron Club she opens a door into a patriarchal society, one where women are an entertainment or a device for their members gain, or a mechanism to extort control over others. They are disposable, invisible and it take Maeve and her team to revel how they are treated.
The murder is more on the gruesome side, but the descriptions are not gratuitously done. It is used to effect to show the steps some will go to in order to cover their mistakes. There are the usual twists and turns, red herrings and clues left for the reader to follow. I had guessed the outcome before the reveal but this only added to my enjoyment.
There are also serious changes going on in Maeve’s life. Whilst the outcome is increasingly obvious to the reader, it appears to be hidden from Maeve. The results, when they occur are none the less shocking despite the prediction. The situation is handled with care by the author, without sensationalising it. There’s something in store for Derwent too, which could alter his relationship with Maeve. There are incidents in the book that test their friendship, that will change them both and how they view each other.
All of the familiar characters are there, Una Bert, the boss with whom Kerrigan has a not so smooth relationship. Georgia, the cocky DC is still a thorn in Maeve’s side and the other members of the team who work together so well (or not so well in some cases).
It takes some skill for an author to write a novel that drags the reader along, speeding through a not insubstantial book at a pace that sees the pages flying by. Great story-telling requires a plot that grabs, a pace that doesn’t drag and characters that make the reader care. That’s exactly what happens with The Cutting Place.
As always, when I finished the last page it was with the bittersweet regret that comes with finishing a brilliant book, and knowing that the next one has not yet been written. I hope the wait for the next Kerrigan book isn’t that long .