Monday, July 29, 2013


Pages: 424
Date: 28/07/2013
Grade: 4+
Details: No. 3 Reilly Steel

The Blurb:

A Fallen Angel. A Devil on the Loose.

When a young girl is discovered dead on an isolated Irish country road, it seems at first glance to be a simple hit and run. Then the cops see the tattoo on her back - a pair of beautifully wrought angel wings that lend the victim a sense of ethereal innocence. Forensic investigator Reilly Steel is soon on the scene and her highly tuned sixth sense tells her there is more to this case than a straightforward murder.

But with almost zero evidence and no way to trace the girl's origin, Reilly and the police are at a loss. Then the angel tattoo is traced to other children - both dead and alive - who are similarly marked, and Reilly starts to suspect they have all been abducted by the same person. But why? And will Reilly get to the bottom of the mystery and uncover what links these children together before tragedy strikes again?

This is the third book featuring Reilly Steel, our Quantico-trained forensic investigator working in Dublin, and, just like its two prequels, it provides us with a fascinating and bone-chilling mystery, a realistic and fascinating investigation and convincing conclusion. But, while the mystery and the work involved in solving form the main story line, there is more to these books. We get exactly enough story about the characters, their personal lives and the interactions between them to get a real feel for them without it ever taking away from the page-turning force of the story. And it is not just through what we are told about them that we get to know the main characters in these books better; Casey Hill shows us what our characters are really like through scenes that are at times wonderful and inspired. Chris’s time with the young, silent boy, for example, gave the reader a better idea of who he actually is and Reilly Steel the opportunity to see him through different eyes.

As far as the mystery in this book is concerned all I can say is that it was fascinating. I don’t want to give anything away but I do want to mention that the revelations at the end of the book took me completely by surprise. I do love it when an author brings me a credible conclusion I didn’t see coming at all. And boy did I get one (or should I say two) of those in this book.

What I really liked in this book is that the story is more layered than you often see in mysteries and thrillers. During my very first class when I started studying law the professor told us that anybody who was under the delusion that law and justice where synonyms was in for a nasty surprise. To see that sentiment echoed in this book made the story that much more realistic for me. Sometimes doing the right thing leads to outcomes that are far from ideal; that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing, as this story shows in an inspired and very thrilling way.

While this book, or the mystery it contains, can easily be read and enjoyed in and of itself, I would encourage anybody to read the first two Reilly Steel titles first. The mystery in this book may be a new one, the development of the characters is a story that continues through the subsequent books. Do yourself a favour and read “Taboo and “Torn first (and in that order) before picking up “Hidden”. Trust me; you will thank me for it.

As with the two previous titles, the writing team that is Casey Hill (Melissa Hill and her husband Kevin) has given us a thrilling, well-plotted, fast-paced and intriguing mystery in a well written story peopled by fascinating characters. I can only hope that Reilly Steel and her colleagues will continue their investigations for a long time to come.

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