A mix of police procedural and domestic thriller, A Nice Place to Die will appeal to a variety of readers. There are two sides to this story, told from two different points of view and two timelines. J. Woollcott builds suspense by alternating chapters with DS Ryan McBride’s account of police efforts to find a killer with the victim’s recount of the events prior to the murder. Skillfully executed, this method of storytelling sends the reader on a rollercoaster ride with mounting evidence and shocking revelations.
Added to the mystery is the personal connection between Ryan, the victim, and the victim’s sister. Woollcott exposes another side to her main character beyond that of his career as a detective. His personal relationships with his girlfriend, friends, and colleagues paint a complete picture of Ryan as a person, highlighting his conflicting feelings. Woollcott brings her main characters off the page with introspection to accompany their actions, making them flesh and blood.
Secondary plots add to the intrigue and keep readers guessing about the connection between crimes and characters. A complex web of events comes together as the author deftly weaves the stories together to lead to the solving of the crimes and the exposing of more than one secret.
Accurate relaying of police procedure intertwined with the personal lives of officers and a detective with a bit of darkness, along with descriptions of Ireland and references to the social climate, make this an enjoyable read. If you love Tana French, I’d recommend you pick up J. Woollcott’s DS McBride series. Looking forward to the next book!