‘The Death Messenger’ is the 2nd novel by Mari Hannah featuring DI Eloise O’Neil and DS Matthew Ryan and follows on from ‘The Silent Room’.
O’Neil has been tasked with setting up an elite squad to investigate serious crimes. She has a huge budget and discretion in choosing her team. Her first choice is Ryan. Pretty soon the team of 2 have their first case.
They receive a DVD showing a crime scene drenched in blood. There is no indication of the location or the victim and no body has been found. But the DVD is narrated by a female voice that they will get to know and the filming is of professional quality. They name their killer Spielberg. Then they receive a phone call from their killer and are able to locate the crime scene.
The victim turns out to be a high profile judge. Pretty soon further DVDs arrive and more bodies are found. But the team struggle to find a link between the victims. With multiple murders to investigate, the team must expand so O’Neil recruits Grace Elis and her husband Newman to the team.
There is plenty of conflict between O’Neil and her boss. She is also struggling with an incident from her past and this sets up conflict within the team, particularly with Ryan who has fallen in love with O’Neil. With O’Neil reluctant to discuss her past, the team nearly comes apart.
Eventually they come across the victim that gives them the clue they need to unravel the mystery and track their vicious killer.
Once again Mari Hannah has written an action packed and exciting novel. But I found some of this one a bit difficult to get through. O’Neil’s personal problems were a distraction from the main story and went around in circles for far too long. Ryan was like a love sick puppy dog following O’Neil around. And O’Neil was far too easily offended.
But the case they were investigating was complex and interesting and eventually the unconventional team got over themselves and got through the investigation.
I liked that Ryan’s blind twin sister was used to help with the case again.
Hopefully the next novel in the series will have less of a walking on eggshells feel to it and contain another good case and maybe a more settled relationship.