If you like Midsomer Murders, modern British whodunit mysteries, or police procedurals, After the Fire is a good one to read. It is number six in the Maeve Kerrigan series but you do not have to have read the other five in the series first. Essentially, a tenement house is set on fire, the police are called out and an investigation is launched. Among the victims is an MP (member of parliament) with insatiable desires for the wrong side of town style lust, an elderly widow with no familial support, two trafficked women, a child and her family that has a checkered present, and a mother and son living under assumed names, the woman a victim of domestic violence, hiding out from an abusive husband. Unlike the DCI on Midsummer Murders, the team of detectives in After the Fire have their own problems to deal with and have made hash of their own personal lives while meshing into a team that is effective and efficient. Maeve Kerrigan, the protagonist cannot eat due to an ulcer, is being stalked by someone she investigated and I believe arrested, among other problems in her currently and recently unattached life. Josh Derwernt is a charmer of the ladies, an unorthodox detective who higher ups would rather dismiss if he was not so good at collaring criminals, and an advocate of stamping out crimes against women, domestic or otherwise, even if he has to be the one to knock heads around or resort to less than lawful methods. Derwent is essentially a sometimes less than welcome in your face knight in shining armor.
The details on the shadow Internet and arson investigation were excellent with just the right amount of detail.
Casey’s writing is tight and nothing I found should have been eliminated. The pace is good; it keeps moving to conclusion at a reasonable pace. The characters are flawed enough to make them believable, though I would have like to have seen the other characters of the team (not Una Burt but, Mal, Chris and LIv) a bit more developed.
Copy provided by publisher on Netgalley in exchange for honest review.