After He’s Gone by Jane Isaac – DC Beth Chamberlain #1
You think you know him. Until he’s dead.
When Cameron Swift is gunned down outside his family home, DC Beth Chamberlain is appointed Family Liaison Officer: a dual role that requires her to support the family, and also investigate them.
As the case unfolds and the body count climbs, Beth discovers that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has secrets.
Even the dead…
After He’s Gone is the debut novel in an exciting new series from author Jane Isaac. It centres around the role of DC Beth Chamberlain as family liaison officer; to murder victim Cameron Swift’s family. I loved the angle and narrative of a FLO’s role covering both support and investigation.
‘To kill an adult was gruesome enough. But a child? That was pure unadulterated evil’
The novel opens with an eerie scene of violence. We are left unsure, what it relates to and straightaway this adds to the mystery. The novel then jumps to seven days earlier and the scene of Cameron Swift’s murder. Cameron is hot in broad daylight by a killer on a bike, who tops long enough to take pictures of the victim.
Is this a professional hit? If so who wants to kill Cameron Swift?
Beth is called to the scene with ‘career copper’ DCI Lee. They find the body of Cameron and see 3 shots fired. They immediately begin to search the area for witnesses and organise the CCTV to be obtained. The novel is quite police procedural, in parts.
Cameron Swift was an asset manager, with what appears to be no enemies. His partner Monika and two sons were inside the property at the time of the shooting. Monika assists the police as much as possible. But you can fully grasp her emotional state. Monika is Polish, and her family remain in her native country. Meaning Monika is alone with young sons Oskar (12yrs) and baby Jakub (9 months). I really felt for Monika’s plight and could just imagine the sheer hopelessness of her situation and grief.
The killer posts the photos to social media. The police struggle to grasp why. Is the killer sending a message? Is this an attempt to gain attention? It isn’t too long until the caption ‘Who was #Cameronswift?’ is trending.
So, who was Cameron swift?
Beth has to navigate an intense police investigation, a grieving partner, intense media scrutiny and her police colleagues.
Also, her own personal family drama. With her sister’s ex on the police staff and her new boyfriend rumoured to be a known local criminal. Can Beth find justice for Cameron? And keep the peace at home?
This novel is a great start to a thoroughly modern new series. It has a diverse multitude of characters and plenty of secrets and lies, to keep you guessing. 4*
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