Then She Was Gone – Another Scouse Noir Masterpiece
Luca Veste’s has written his fourth in the Murphy – Rossi series, Then She Was Gone, which is more evidence of why he is one the crime writers of the moment. Veste uses all his knowledge of Liverpool, Wirral and the rest of Merseyside alongside his academic insight on criminology and psychology.
What he delivers is a twisted, psychological thriller, with gritty reality, a touch of scouse humour, which makes this a truly disturbing and intelligent read. Murphy and Rossi are characters that are developing and showing the true meaning of partnership in investigations especially when they are faced with a descent in to the darkest corners of the human psyche.
Tim Johnson has had to move back in to Liverpool from the Wirral to aid the development of his daughter Molly and keep her away from his partner. While taking her a walk, he is attacked and Molly is missing, and the problem is nobody believes he ever had a daughter. He cannot work out who or why Molly is gone and when the Police think he is making things up as nobody thinks he ever had a child. But when the blood of a Polish woman is found all over his former home he is arrested for murder. He is in prison protesting his innocence, while he wants the world to find Molly his daughter, who nobody ever believes existed.
Sam Byrne is on course to be elected as a Tory MP for Liverpool, the first one in a generation, in a by-election, he is on course to rise to the top. When he has not been seen for a few days the alarm is raised and for some reason Murphy and Rossi, from the Major Crimes Unit are called in to investigate, due to Byrne’s father being a former MP.
With nothing to go on, they have to discover the life, public and private, of Sam Byrne and what they discover a trail that lead back to another life he had at University and someone who is hell bent on revenge. When more bodies turn up they are up against the time to find the truth, discover what is historically significant to the present.
With more twists and turns than a rollercoaster we see the partnership of Murphy and Rossi tested to the limit, with the backdrop being the ever changing City of Liverpool. With Mama Rossi’s food often making an appearance reminding us that Liverpool has always welcomed immigrants and those with a need to fit in.
When She Was Gone is yet more proof why Luca Veste is one of the modern crop of crime writers who need to be watched. His Scouse Noir series based around Murphy and Rossi and the Major Crime Unit goes from strength to strength, with a dark edge and ever changing violence getting harsher and more twisted every time.
The characters are well written, the prose is crisp and clear and the imagery fantastic, with an eye for detail. Veste writing and characters draw you in and keep you hooked all the way through to the end and you are never sure which way things are going to go. Veste is a word magician who is excellent at sleight of hand and always comes up with something different.
This book proves why Luca Veste is the King of Scouse Noir, the Murphy and Rossi series will keep him there for quite a while. Reply