Tuesday 25 June 2019

Transplant at centre of murder case

Crime: Dead Man's Daughter

Roz Watkins

HQ €14.99

Dead Man's Daughter
Dead Man's Daughter

Breda Brown

This is the second book in the DI Meg Dalton series by UK author Roz Watkins. Her first, The Devil's Dice, was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger Award and has been optioned for TV.

This thriller is an equally gripping police procedural involving a sinister case that really gets under the skin of our heroine Meg Dalton.

The narrative opens with a 10-year-old girl, Abbie, running through the woods, barefoot and wearing only a blood-soaked nightdress. The child has no memory of what happened, but when her father is found stabbed to death in their nearby home, questions are asked. Could Abbie have carried out this gruesome murder?

Meg is not convinced the girl is responsible, but the evidence is telling her otherwise. When it's revealed that Abbie recently underwent a heart transplant, and that her behaviour has since changed substantially, more questions arise. As the investigation progresses, layers of family secrets are revealed in a fast-paced plot with plenty of twists and turns that will keep you on your toes.

This novel also addresses a range of ethical subjects such as organ donation, assisted dying, mental health and the minutiae of medical research. All are dealt with in a sensitive manner, making it a very thought-provoking and informative read.

Meg Dalton is an extremely spikey but likeable character. With her quirky and unconventional ways, she is liked by some colleagues, not so much by others, and the book excels at portraying working relationships in a realistic way.

While her impulsive personality often lands her in hot water, we are by Meg's side throughout this story, rooting for her as she works to get to the bottom of the mystery.

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