‘Cruel Acts’ by Jane Casey #BookReview @ThePigeonholeHQ @JaneCaseyAuthor @KillerReads

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Author: Jane Casey

Genre: Crime Thriller

Format: Hardcover 368 pages

Release Date:  18 April 2019 

Publisher: HarperCollins

I read this book in ‘staves’ released daily via The Pigeonhole. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


How can you spot a murderer?

Leo Stone is a ruthless killer – or the victim of a miscarriage of justice. A year ago, he was convicted of the murder of two women and sentenced to life in prison. But now he’s free, and according to him, he’s innocent.

DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent are determined to put Stone back behind bars where he belongs, but the more Maeve finds out, the less convinced she is of his guilt.

Then another woman disappears in similar circumstances. Is there a copycat killer, or have they been wrong about Stone from the start?

My Thoughts

The plot for this book really pulled me in, particularly because of the miscarriage of justice element to the story. The idea that someone may have been convicted for a murder they didn’t commit and not knowing if they actually did or not… well it seemed to me that this would have all the makings of a great book. 

Despite the fact that Leo Stone has been released from prison on a technicality the police seem determined to find any evidence they can to ensure he goes back behind bars and this time for good. It’s interesting because the families of the two women who were murdered have very differing opinions of whether Leo Stone actually did commit the crimes he is accused of. One family is convinced he did and the other is convinced the police are wasting their time and should be using their resources to try and catch the real killer. This all helped to add to the uncertainty as to whether or not Leo Stone is the right person to be convicted for these crimes. 

The story is told from Maeve Kerrigan’s point of view, a police officer investigating the case. She seems a lot more impartial than some of the other police officers and although she thinks Leo Stone is guilty as they come she is still willing to follow the evidence, even if this leads her away from him as their prime suspect. 

Maeve is partnered with DI Derwent and they live and work together but are not in a romantic relationship. Derwent seems to care for Maeve deeply and looks out for her whilst sometimes getting too involved in her personal affairs. I feel like there is a bit more going on between Maeve and Derwent, especially from Derwent’s side so it will be interesting to see how their relationship progresses as the series continues. 

This is the eighth book in the Maeve Kerrigan series and I haven’t read the previous books but I will definitely be adding this backlist to my reading pile as the author has shown me in this book that she writes a crime thriller just like it should be: a plot with a big question mark over it, multiple suspects and theories, a lead character you can root for and a criminal baddy that we love to hate. 

About the Author

“All my criminal elements have some basis in reality, no matter how awful they may be. Nothing is completely farfetched.” Jane Casey

Crime is a family affair for Jane Casey. Married to a criminal barrister, she has a unique insight into the brutal underbelly of urban life, from the smell of a police cell to the darkest motives of a serial killer.

This gritty realism has made her books international bestsellers and critical successes; while Detective Constable Maeve Kerrigan has quickly become one of the most popular characters in crime fiction.

Winner of the Mary Higgins Clark Award for The Stranger You Know, Jane has been shortlisted four times for the Irish Crime Novel of the Year Award and longlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award.

For more reviews and updates you can follow me on Twitter @BooksBucks

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Great review! I love stories about miscarriage of justice. I crave searches for evidence, the doubt, the did they/didn’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These are all the sorts of things that drew me to this book. Thanks Meggy x


  2. Great review. I love this series, in fact it’s one of only two I have ever managed to keep up with. Having said that, I still need to catch up on book 7 before I can read this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t wait to start from the beginning with the first one 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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