A young woman trapped by her fear, a young man pursued by his past, a murderer hunting the Cardiff streets by night. Agoraphobic hacker Amy Lane employs ex-con Jason Carr as a cleaner. When the police `borrow’ Amy’s skills to help track down the killer, Amy and Jason become a crime-fighting team, Amy on her computer, Jason on the streets.
Okay, so let me introduce you to the underrated Amy Lane series by Rosie Claverton! It was a Kindle Deal a few months ago, and someone on my Twitter whose tastes I trust highly recommended it. I one-clicked, and was so glad I did.
The principle characters are an agoraphobic hacker, the aforementioned Amy, as well as Jason, a former convict, who is employed to clean Amy’s house in his first post-jail job. Yeah, I like this rather unique set-up.
The author is a mental health professional, so I trust her to do right with her character’s mental illness – indeed, Jason learns fast what to do and what not to do when it comes to Amy’s agoraphobia.
The relationship between Jason and Amy is platonic and wonderful – it’s great to see how they come to depend on and trust one another. It’s also enjoyable to see how they both grow individually throughout the course of the book.⠀
“I hear she thought you were the murderer. I suppose it was because you lied to her and then took her to a place with dead bodies in the water. I think that’s a turn-off.”
Obviously you have to ignore a few plausibility issues when it comes to two decidedly non-law enforcement characters investigating a crime, but it didn’t bother my enjoyment of the book.
In terms of the crime mystery itself – a murderer preying on young women at night on the streets of Cardiff – I appreciated that it wasn’t overly gory, and I liked that it was solved by a combination of skills – Amy’s hacking, Jason’s street-smarts and their accompanying police allies. The victims were also humanised, as opposed to being convenient dead bodies to further the plot.
This series needs way more love, so get on it if you haven’t already.