Saturday, December 25, 2021

When You Are Mine

When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham
1/4/22; 368 pages

When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham is a highly recommended crime/psychological thriller.

Philomena (Phil) McCarthy, a police office in London, and her partner respond to a domestic violence call. The victim, Tempe Brown, has clearly been assaulted. The abuser is Darren Goodall, a married man named and a decorated Scotland Yard detective, and he makes it clear that he is above the law and can't be touched. When Goodall tries to assault Phil, she stops him, cuffs him, and puts him under arrest, however his allies at the station make the case disappear and turn it against Phil. Phil, however, has had to overcome other challenges in her personal life and decides to continue to look into Goodall. She finds evidence he has been abusing his wife too and begins to investigate this.

At the same time, Tempe begins to insert herself into Phil's personal life, much to the chagrin of Henry, her fiancée. After finding her safe places to stay, it seems that Tempe is there at every turn, always running into Phil and wanting to help her, while Goodall is beginning to threaten her. Complicating matters further is Phil's background. She is the daughter of Edward McCarthy, a mobster and leader of a criminal empire he built with his brothers. Although she has distanced herself from him, his 60th birthday is approaching and she may attend the party and ask him for some help.

Phil is a fully realized, complex character and an engaging protagonist. You will want the best for her, although you may question her instincts and judgment several times in the novel. She should have noticed and could have curtailed Tempe's needy and clinging insertion into her life sooner. Tempe's behavior would have raised alarms for most people right away, but it does serve to further complicate the intricate plot and keep the tension high.

This is an extremely well written, perfectly paced, and wonderfully intricate puzzle of a thriller. There are so many pieces presented and questions that will arise concerning Phil's investigations, Tempe's actions, Phil's family, Goodall and his cronies, and corrupt behavior that seems to have infiltrated the police. The suspense and tension keep building on all levels. Once the novel starts the quick pace doesn't let up until the end and will keep you entrenched in the narrative. When You Are Mine is emotionally engaging, suspenseful, and compelling throughout.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Scribner.

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