by Nigel McCrery
Pantheon Books – July 2008
If ever there was a book in which the reader gets to watch madness play out before their eyes, Still Waters would be that book.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Lapslie is called in from sick leave when a body is unearthed at the scene of a fatal car accident. Suffering from a condition called synaesthesia – a neurological condition that causes him to taste sounds – Lapslie, with the help of Detective Sergeant Emma Bradbury, begin to unravel the mystery of the newly discovered corpse. After many difficulties, both professionally and personally, their investigation leads them to twelve more corpses and ultimately to their serial killer – Madeline Poel.
After witnessing as a child the murders of her siblings by her grandmother, Madeline Poel, is spared their fate when unexpectedly her mother returns. The scar of such trauma is deep and ultimately dictates the course of her life. McCrery creates a character that gives the reader a bird’s-eye view into a killer’s mind that is spinning out of control – which creates for very interesting reading.
Still Waters starts off exciting and does not disappoint in keeping the reader’s attention. One slight flaw to McCrery’s writing would be that the book is full of English colloquialisms that may not resonate with the American reading audience. However, Still Waters’ gripping story, coupled with its interesting characters, more than makes up for its occasionally distracting text.
Mystery fans will no doubt enjoy this new addition to the crime sleuthing family of English detectives.