By Sarah Hilary
Published by Headline (22 March 2018)
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher
On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.
DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She's finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn't able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.
As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him - and is about to pay the ultimate price.
I admit that I wrote no review notes when reading Come And Find Me, as I was simply too engrossed to pick up a pen, so I'm writing this 'blind'. Yet even a month on, I can still feel the chilling nature of this intelligent police procedural, as if I've only just finished reading it - I suspect that will be hard to shake off!
Come And Find Me is Sarah Hilary's best book yet - and I know I keep saying that every time I read her latest novel! But seriously, this is a compelling and addictive read, pulling the punches from the very first page. It's also dark - very dark - and certainly her darkest yet, focusing on a prison riot and subsequent escape, with a violent man (Michael Vokey) now on the run.
DI Marnie Rome is back to fighting her own demons, struggling to focus on her search for Vokey. Her mind keeps swinging back to her foster brother Stephen, who killed her parents and has been injured during the prison riot. To understand her relationship with Stephen fully, you'll need to read the previous books (although this isn't essential for the plot of Come And Find Me, I would recommend you do so anyway). Marnie is concerned that Vokey could be a danger to two women he befriended while in prison and who have been writing to him, craving his attention, so the race is on to find him before he finds them.
There's a real mystery at the heart of Come And Find Me, shielded by so many layers that need to be torn away one by one to discover the truth. Most of the book is set in the prison or a hospital ward, yet despite these potentially neutral settings the writing is filled with descriptive brilliance and some subtle (and not so subtle) humour at times. I felt like I was there in that prison riot, not only seeing the gore and the violence, but feeling it too.
I can't recommend this Marnie Rome series high enough. It's everything I want in crime fiction - dark, powerful, emotional, gripping and filled with surprises from beginning to end. It also feels very authentic - with plausible realistic plots and no far-fetched plot devices simply there to keep the reader reading. Each book touches on human nature and complex social issues and I always feel that I see the world slightly differently by the time I reach the end.