Our Book Review of The Career Killer
In book one of the DCI Mabey series, author Ali Gunn presents an astonishingly believable character in the Metropolitan Police’s newest Detective Chief Inspector, Elsie Mabey. She looks the part, but there’s a lot of baggage she’s carrying, from her nearly worshiped father (who had also worked for the Homicide Command and written their training manuals), to some debilitating issues with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The syndrome leaves our protagonist with little energy, forced to run on nothing but nerves and instinct much of the time.
Promoted to her new position at the young age of 32, her colleagues aren’t congratulatory; they are insulting, trying their best to take away any shred of dignity she might possess. And the team of inspectors her bosses toss at her as she confronts a strange murder is less than appealing. Could it be anything but a coincidence?
This story is at heart a mystery. Our meeting with characters comes quickly, with little to judge them by, but as all great stories do, we learn as we go, the tale increasing in texture and speed through the early chapters.
I was struck by some of Gunn’s descriptions of London, and as a US-dweller with no experience in the UK, it was enjoyable getting a glimpse of the other side of the world. You needn’t worry; this isn’t James Michener with a story in a travel log. The author does an excellent job of weaving the surroundings into the scenes.
As for the detective work, well, aside from Mabey’s band of misfit toys as inspectors, the crime scenes (yes, there are multiple murders) staged by a serial killer who isn’t bolted together correctly, the procedurals ring true. I understand the author was a forensics specialist before turning to write. That makes sense.
If you’re looking for some quiet entertainment, you’ll enjoy this novel about a strong-willed but also sensitive character who just happens to be a woman and a cop. You can buy The Career Killer right now for 99-cents on Amazon Kindle. It’s a bargain, and 446 pages of fun. Also, it’s available in Kindle Unlimited!