Under a Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes
DCI Louisa Smith gets called for her first case as lead when young, vibrant Polly is found dead in her home with blood completely surrounding her. Lou starts investigating and soon learns that Polly had a very busy social and sexual life and there are many suspects. However soon after, a car is found in a quarry with the body of Polly's neighbour. Could the two cases be connected? Lou makes use of many fellow officers, including one she has just finished a relationship with, and an Analyst. The book is written by time over the course of about a week from a variety of character's perspectives.
I find that for mysteries, there are two components that are the most important to me: the characters and the mystery itself. In this case, the characters are quite engaging and interesting. This is Lou's first case as lead and there are some insecurities about that. She is also dealing with personal problems, like an affair she had with a colleague before she found out that he was married and called it off. Even though none of the characters were perfect, they felt real and you wanted to know what was going to happen to them.
The mystery was gripping until a clue about 60% of the way through the book was given that allows the reader to easily figure out who the murderer is. Despite this, I still wanted to learn the motive and was interested in continuing to read. The main differentiator of this book was how the investigation was described. It is very procedural and explains how the use of analysts work during a case. Being a math-inclined logical person, I could really appreciate this approach and enjoyed reading about it.
At the back of the book, flow charts were included to show how characters connected to each other. These really should have been brought in to the book itself rather than hidden at the back! They would have added a lot more context to what the analysts were doing and were pretty interesting to look at how everything connected together.
I haven't read anything by Haynes before but I would pick up the next book in this series once it's out.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for including me in this tour!
First Line: "In years to come, Flora would remember this as the day of Before and After."