Review: Taboo by Casey Hill
Simon & Schuster, €13.99, Paperback
Casey Hill is a new name to the Irish thriller-writing canon, and is the pseudonym of husband and wife Kevin and Melissa Hill.
With 10 best-selling romantic novels already under her belt, starting with the 2003 hit Something You Should Know, Melissa Hill is an established chick-lit star and her books have been translated into 16 languages. A desire to explore the darker side of the human psyche has seen her team up with her husband Kevin to create a new crime series set in Dublin featuring a female Irish-American forensic investigator, Reilly Steel.
When her Irish-born father, haunted by a family tragedy that has driven him to the bottle, retires to Ireland, Reilly decides to take a job in Dublin to keep a discreet eye on him. Employed by the Garda Commissioner to drag the newly created Irish Garda Forensic Unit into the 21st Century, the blonde, feisty and Quantico-trained investigator finds she has a tough job on her hands in convincing most of her chauvinistic male superiors to adopt her methods, but her investigative skills soon win around the keen youngsters on her team.
She needs all the help she can get because a brutal and twisted serial killer is leaving a trail of victims around the city. The killer is adept in making the deaths appear to be suicides, but Reilly Steel's instincts are screaming at her that there is something much more sinister afoot.
Only Chris Delaney, one of the detectives assigned to the first deaths, is prepared to believe Reilly's theory that the spate of apparent suicides is the work of a single deranged but clever killer.
When Reilly finds out that the warped killer appears to know more about her and her father than should be possible, she is concerned that she and her father may be the ultimate targets.
She shares her fears for her family's safety with Delaney, for whom she feels a growing attraction, and together they attempt to unmask the killer.
One of the features that make Melissa Hill's modern romances stand out in the crowded chick-lit field are the clever and unexpected plot twists in her tales that always give them a distinctly thriller-like edge. With this well-paced out-and-out crime story, featuring an attractive and intelligent new heroine, she's gone the whole way and looks set to find a whole new audience.