Tuesday 18 June 2019

Pen-pal fans of a brutal sadist

Crime: Come And Find Me, Sarah Hilary, Headline, €21.26

Come And Find Me by Sarah Hilary
Come And Find Me by Sarah Hilary

Breda Brown

Anyone ever tempted to develop a pen-pal relationship with a prisoner incarcerated for a sadistic crime might think twice after reading the new psychological thriller from multi award-winning UK author Sarah Hilary.

Come And Find Me, the fifth book in her popular DI Marnie Rome series, is a London- based police procedural. Michael Vokey, a brutal criminal, is in jail for viciously assaulting a mother in front of her young child. The media attention devoted to his trial results in two women becoming so totally infatuated with Vokey that they begin sending him fan mail.

Both Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull, who don't know each other and live at opposite ends of the country, believe they can save Vokey from himself and the pair write to him regularly sharing intimate details about their lives.

When a vicious riot breaks out in the prison, Vokey manages to escape and DI Rome is drafted in to track him down. Vokey, however, seems to have vanished into thin air. As Rome and her sidekick DS Noah Jake begin interviewing the witnesses involved, different versions of the same story begin to emerge and questions arise as to who is really telling the truth.

Rome, meanwhile, has her own demons to deal with. Six years previously, her foster brother murdered her parents in their home and she is still trying to find out why. As she lives with the guilt that she wasn't able to save her parents, she races against the clock in a bid to get to Lara and Ruth before Vokey does.

Come And Find Me is a tense and chilling thriller that moves along at breakneck speed but, while I thoroughly enjoyed it, I found it hard to warm to Marnie Rome as the lead detective.

She lacked warmth and, at times, it felt like she was quite detached from the story. Her partner, Noah Jake, stole the show. Dealing with his own distressing story that involved him being responsible for putting his only brother behind bars, he is an engaging, likeable character who deserves a series of his own.

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