What the blurb says:
“Once inside THERE’S NO WAY OUT…
DI David Murphy and DS Laura Rossi make a grisly discovery. The body of a teenage boy, dumped in front of a church in Liverpool. His torso covered with the unmistakable marks of torture.
And a shocking fact soon comes to light. Seventeen-year-old Dean Hughes was reported missing six months ago, yet no one has been looking for him. A known troublemaker, who cared if he was dead or alive?
But soon the police realise Dean isn’t the only boy who’s gone missing in similar circumstances. Someone has been abducting troubled teens. Someone who thinks they’re above the law. Someone with terrifying plans for them.”
As a big fan of Luca Veste’s debut novel – Dead Gone – I was thrilled to get my hands on an early copy of the second book in the Murphy and Rossi series – The Dying Place. And, as with his first book, Veste weaves a twisting, turning plot to skillfully produce a fast-paced police procedural that keeps you guessing right to the end.
When the body of a murdered teenager is found outside a church, Murphy and Rossi are called in to investigate. As they delve deeper into the case it becomes clear that someone, or some people, are taking teenagers off the street and holding them against their will, trying to ‘re-train’ them through a brutal form of national service.
This is a hard book to review without giving away any spoilers [and you know how I hate to do that!] but what I will say is that Veste’s Liverpool is an unsettling, dangerous place where frustrations between the older generation and the young run high.
Told through multiple points of view, the story highlights the impact of violent crime on victims’ families – on the parents whose children don’t ever return home and on the adult children whose elderly parents fall victim to teenage gangs – with a nod towards how depending on where you live, and what job you (or your parents have) the value of your life might be perceived by the media.
It also shows how grief can twist into vengeance and how that can be a powerful motivator, exploring the theme of vigilante justice in an up-close and disturbingly convincing way through the eyes of the characters.
As in Dead Gone, Murphy and Rossi are a brilliantly paired double act; the strong bond between them showing through their ever-present banter, and their unswerving loyalty in the face of adversity.
Engaging and thought provoking, The Dying Place is a truly gripping read.