Behind Closed Doors
Suicide – the act of taking one’s own life.
Homicide – the act of taking someone else’s.
An unethical banker suffocates. A diamond dealer slits his wrists. A media magnate freezes in the snow. A disgraced CEO inhales exhaust fumes. Four unpopular businessmen, four apparent suicides. Until Interpol find the same DNA at each death.
Beatrice Stubbs, on her first real case since ‘the incident’, arrives in Switzerland to lead the investigation. But there’s more to Zurich than chocolate and charm. Potential suspects are everywhere, her Swiss counterpart is hostile and the secretive world of international finance seems beyond the law. Battling impossible odds by day and her own demons at night, Beatrice has never felt so alone.
She isn’t. Someone’s watching.
Someone else who believes in justice.
The poetic kind.
Reading the book jacket of Behind Closed Doors, I was immediately intrigued. I am weary of a glut of crime novels and thrillers where a hardened old detective, with a heart of gold underneath, has to solve the grisly murders of young women. JJ Murphy has turned such tropes on their head in fine style, as unethical businessmen die, seemingly through suicide; Detective Beatrice Stubbs leads an international team put together to investigate these suspicious deaths.
This debut novel is brilliantly plotted and I rattled through it in just a couple of days, making guess after guess about exactly where the team’s investigation was taking me. It’s hard to give too much information about this without spoiling the plot, but I really enjoyed reading the team bring their different skills together and begin to put together the pieces.
There were a few clues dropped in throughout the story that enabled me to guess roughly where the story was headed, but the details were a well crafted surprise, and the denouement gripping and suspenseful. In spite of never having visited Zurich myself, I thought the location was used to brilliant effect by Marsh, almost becoming a character itself at times.
Beatrice Stubbs is a fascinating character, and a welcome addition to crime literature, in a literary and thought provoking novel. One of the most interesting elements to the story was the morality of the killer’s ideals versus the immorality of their actions. I heartily recommend this as an exciting and intelligent read for fans of crime fiction.