The Chill of Night by James Hayman

The Chill of Night by James Hayman

A frozen corpse means a big headache for Detective Michael McCabe

Lainie Goff thinks she has it all. A glamorous young Portland attorney with the brains and looks to match her ambitions, she’s on the fast-track to a partnership. Until one cold winter night she discovers that her belief in her ability to handle any situation was misplaced. Now she’s just a frozen corpse in the boot of a car at the end of Portland Fish Pier.

And a problem for homicide detective Michael McCabe.

Luckily for McCabe, there’s a witness. A mentally disturbed young woman named Abby Quinn saw what happened to Lainie. Unfortunately, Abby mysteriously goes missing the very same night. With a victim who’d known more than her share of bad guys, a list of suspects that seems to get longer and longer and his only witness missing, McCabe has got his work cut out.

But it’s only a matter of time before the killer strikes again . . .

I have to admit I was very excited when I received James Hayman’s follow up to The Cutting in the post a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t wait to see what Mike McCabe would get up to this time around, re visiting Portland Maine in the process. His debut title was so good; I just hoped his second lived up to my expectations.

This book is all about one woman witnessing a murder but when she tries to tell the police about the crime they don’t believe her. We soon discover why the police are reticent to find her a credible witness but there’s one person who doesn’t let sleeping dogs lie – Detective Mike McCabe. Abby, a 25 year old woman who grew up on Harts Island – a small fictional island in Casco Bay Maine – is an intriguing character with so much depth and a well-developed back story. Although she had a regular childhood she begins hearing voices in her teens and is diagnosed as a schizophrenic.

Knowing very little about schizophrenia as I do I found the whole subject matter intriguing and poignant, Hayman dealt with the illness with so much compassion and tenderness. He doesn’t rush her scenes and I truly felt part of her story and her complex life. I could quite clearly get inside her head and see the world as she saw it – a frightening and frustrating place at times. In one scene we find Abby picking up a tennis racquet, swinging it for all her might, and refusing to put it down. When Hayman writes about a simple backhand stroke its simplicity took my breath away. I was in that very room watching Abby fall apart. Sensational stuff.

Of course it’s not all about Abby. McCabe is back with his love of Movie trivia, music and an undeniable infatuation with Macallan single malt Whisky. One of the things I enjoyed about The Cutting was Hayman’s obvious love for the cinematic world and he continues the theme in this book including a shout out to Jaws 4 – This time it’s personal – which made me laugh.

Although another cracking read The Chill of Night didn’t quite live up to my expectations, but then again, following such an engaging thriller – and debut – was always going to be a tough job. Don’t get me wrong, this is a terrific read and Hayman’s personality shines through adding that little something extra to this second McCabe title. I certainly can’t wait for the third title in the series!

For me, and hardly surprising given the subject matter, this title represents a more grown up side to Hayman. A well delivered thriller, a strong deduction that will surprise a few people, this book was all about Abby. She stole the show with her highly complex double life that will leave you wanting to know more about the young woman.

With an emphasis on crime scene forensics, police investigation and a terrifically taut narrative, The Chill of Night is another assured offering from James Hayman. You certainly gain an insight into how police investigate a murder and the pitfalls they face along the way.

Published by Penguin, The Chill of Night is available in both Paperback & Kindle formats.

416 Pages ·  ISBN-10: 0141047305 ·  ISBN-13: 978-0141047300

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2 Responses to “The Chill of Night by James Hayman – Book Review”

  1. Nikki-ann says:

    Another two books for me to add to my ever-growing list! I do love a good crime thriller or two :)

  2. […] Share this:EmailFacebookShareStumbleUponPrintRedditDigg This entry was posted in Jim's Posts and tagged Abby Quinn, Darkness First, Eastport, Machias, Maggie Savage, The Chill of Night, The Cutting. Bookmark the permalink. ← Author Visits: From the Mouths of Children […]

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