Gallows Drop is published by Macmillan on 17 November 2016 and is available to buy here
At dawn on a lonely stretch of road, a body is found hanging from an ancient gallows the morning after a country show. Hours earlier, DCI Kate Daniels had seen the victim alive. With her leave period imminent, she’s forced to step aside when DCI James Atkins is called in to investigate. There’s bad blood between them.
When Kate discovers that Atkins’ daughter was an eyewitness to a fight involving the victim, the two detectives lock horns and he’s bumped off the case. It’s the trigger for a vicious attack on Kate, exposing a secret she’s kept hidden for years and unearthing an even darker one.
Shaken but undeterred, Kate sets out to solve a case that has shocked a close-knit village community. As suspects emerge, she uncovers a curious historical connection with a hangman, a culture of systematic bullying, a web of deceit and a deep-seated psychosis, any one of which could be motive for murder.
It’s a pleasure to hold a brand new Kate Daniels in my hands. Gallows Drop is the sixth instalment in an unmissable and excellent series. This is one series that has found its feet and is at its best.
Kate Daniels is the DCI with secrets. We discover why this is the case, over the course of the novel. Daniels and her team take on the case of a young man found hanging at an isolated gallows, after a country show. She has an old adversary DCI James Atkins to deal with, who becomes her immediate boss. Atkins has it in for Daniels. They have a gigantic shed load of history together. The murder victim is known by Atkins’ teenage daughter, who was a witness to some of the events of that day. When Atkins is taken off the case, Daniels is forced to abandon precious annual leave and to deal a case that resonates personally for her.
Kate Daniels is just brilliant. Mari Hannah really makes her suffer this time. Authors can be so cruel. She has the boss from hell in Atkins to deal with. This man hates the sight of her. She has work take priority over a holiday, which she accepts with grace. She has family problems, that she cannot avoid. Plus she has girlfriend trouble and her private secrets all come out. Poor Kate! Everything is thrown at her. Lesser people would want to hide away and cry. Kate has guts and fight back, in her own unique style. Although she needs to work on her ‘letting the love of her life know she can’t go on holiday’ communication skills. Kate should probably stay single. She really is poor at relationships and just seems to take the long suffering Jo for granted.
We get a complex story, that takes us into Kate’s early years as a teenage police constable to the present day death of a young man, with bullying and jealousies thrown in for good measure. Expect a few gasps as you start to make sense of Kate and her unusually secretive nature. I always wondered about this. Now I know! *smug face* James Atkins makes the perfect villian of the piece; as he has it in for our Kate and is loathsome in his behaviour towards her. The twist is wonderful. Everything plays out beautifully and we get to the heart of Kate Daniels.
You will not be disappointed reading Gallows Drop! I guarantee you will get to the end and be wishing that Mari Hannah could quickly write the next instalment and deliver it by hand to you. Totally recommended!