Dismissed for misconduct from the Met’s Homicide Command after refusing to follow orders, unable to pay her bills (or hold down a relationship), she has no choice but to take her teenage daughter Lennie and move back in with her parents in the city she thought she’d escaped forever at 18.
In Birmingham, sharing a bunkbed with Lennie and navigating the stormy relationship with her mother, Robin works as a benefit-fraud investigator – to the delight of those wanting to see her cut down to size.
Only Corinna, her best friend of 20 years, seems happy to have Robin back. But when Corinna’s family is engulfed by violence and her missing husband becomes a murder suspect, Robin can’t bear to stand idly by as the police investigate. Can she trust them to find the truth of what happened? And why does it bother her so much that the officer in charge is her ex-boyfriend – the love of her teenage life?
As Robin launches her own unofficial investigation and realises there may be a link to the disappearance of a young woman, she starts to wonder how well we can really know the people we love – and how far any of us will go to protect our own.
Critical Incidents is the first book I’ve read by Whitehouse, it has multiple storylines which run in parallel. Which, if I’m honest were a little slow to start off initially and I did have trouble following the multiple characters throughout. I sometimes found myself flipping back and forth to remember who was who! Naturally with multiple storylines, I felt more compelled towards one than the others and I was very invested in Robin’s character and her involvement in both cases. For me the storyline which dominated was Robin’s friends missing husband and the history associated, it really intrigued me. Robin’s character, I felt, was built up very well. We learnt lots about her over the course of the book!!
The last third of the book was gripping in its entirety, a proper page turner which had me hooked into needing to know all the answers. It came to a very good conclusion. The ending was very satisfying and tied up all the lose ends up very cleanly for me. It was also clear that this would be a great first book in a series which I would be excited to read!
There were also themes of racial diversity and prostitution which were touched on with a sensitive touch. I liked the overall writing style (although some parts I felt could have been wrapped up slightly quicker than they were – this is personal preference though!). There was lots of believable dialogue, which for me, in this genre is sometimes a struggle.
Overall despite a couple of minor weaknesses, I would recommend this book (with a 4/5 star rating) especially if you like English crime novels and don’t get put off by lots going on!!
About the Author:
Lucie Whitehouse was born in 1975 and grew up in Warwickshire. After studying Classics at Oxford, she moved to London where she worked briefly in journalism before finding her niche in publishing. She is the author of four novels: The House at Midnight; the TV Book Club pick The Bed I Made; Before We Met, which was a Richard & Judy Summer Book Club and ITV Crime Thriller Book Club selection; and Keep You Close. Lucie now lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.