In Ireland, history drapes itself over the present day like fog. Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan finds herself searching for a serial killer whose present-day atrocities keep pulling her back in time in The Killer in Me. Olivia Kiernan’s latest mystery has a whipsaw plot and list of suspects that will chill your blood.
DCS Sheehan is called to a crime scene in a church; two victims are posed on the floor, one topless and the other in priest’s vestments. The murders gnaw at her, but she’s distracted by a campaign to clear the name of Seán Hennessey, who at just seventeen was convicted of murdering his parents and attempting to kill his sister. Now a free man, a new documentary seeks to clear his name, but if it succeeds it will be a terrible blow to the police department. Meanwhile, another body has been found. Frankie’s caught in the middle of what seem at first like separate issues, but they gradually merge into a race against time to prevent things from coming much too close to home.
Kiernan spins this tale with gritty realism—you can feel the damp chill of an Irish summer and smell the creosote and salt along the coast. Investigators are stymied again and again as evidence is contradicted or searches come up blank. And Frankie struggles with her own recollection of events, wondering if there was anything she could have done to prevent the original murders—a member of the family reached out to her mother for help at the time, but Frankie was just a child then. This lingering guilt crashes into concern about the impact new revelations might have on her current job.
Pitting loyalty to family against the search for truth and justice, The Killer in Me is a high-stakes noir page turner.