Murder is the sequel to Mayhem and picks up a few years after the events of that book, focussing very much on the Dr Thomas Bond (trying to avoid spoilers here) who is trying to deal with the aftermath of those events, hoping to finally win the love of Juliana, now widowed and the mother of a young son, and the arrival of a handsome American, Edward Kane, a friend of Juliana’s late husband who in trying to put his mind at rest on the past events may stir up some of Bond’s demons. In more ways than one.
Why did I want to read it?
I really enjoy Sarah Pinborough’s work and thought this was going to be the second in a series rather than a direct sequel. Ordered it as soon as it was announced.
What did I think of it?
As I said above I was not expecting this to be a sequel; in my head I had convinced myself that this was going to be a series of nasty (in a good way) serial killer novels with Bond as the hero hunting down the bad guys. All of this based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever, all based on assumptions rather than any hard evidence. even starting to read the book I thought that we were running through the events of Mayhem as the background to something entirely different. However, it quickly became clear that I was in for something entirely different as the events of Mayhem come back to haunt Bond in rather horrible ways with a kind of horrible inevitability in the events that were unfolding. Or so it seemed.
This was an interesting reading experience for me, one in a line of dark books with very human dilemmas underscored by creepy supernatural elements and a fair dose of nastiness. But because it was so dark I actually had to set it aside on a couple of occasions because it was almost overwhelming. This is a credit to Sarah’s writing; the triggers for me were not the obvious nastiness but the realistic portrayal of the impact of unrequited love (I have some experience in this area – don’t ask, best left alone – and just found it painful to read) and the descent of a man into madness.
But I’m glad I persevered because there are a couple of events in particular which push the story into really dark territory and I was desperate to know how this was all going to work out. I had a tiny wee suspicion of what might happen at the end which was mostly right though not delivered in quite the way I expected.
This was my eighth read for RIP IX and I’m definitely going to continue exploring this author’s work.