Becky Masterman's latest book, We Were Killers Once, is the fourth in her Brigid Quinn series, but can absolutely be read as a stand-alone.
Masterman has come up with an absolutely fascinating premise for We Were Killers Once. What if.....there were three men at the Clutter killings? Yes, those murders - the ones that inspired Truman Capote's 'In Cold Blood.' And what if that third man is freshly out of prison - and determined to make sure that the evidence he knows it out there is destroyed. And what if Brigid and Carlo end up in this killer's path......
Brigid and her husband Carlo are seemingly opposite personalities. The relationship between the two is well written and believable. As individuals, they are written with lots of depth. Brigid has a most interesting background - and a fascination with killers that served her well in her FBI career. She's now retired n- I like that she is an 'older' lead character. Carlo is a former priest. They are light and dark - and prove to be excellent foils for each other's thoughts, leanings and actions.
I loved Masterman's idea of this third person. He too is very well drawn - ruthless, though he doesn't believe so. His ideas of how to blend and behave gave me chills. We Were Killers Once is told in two voices - the killer and Brigid. The reader is aware of what is going to happen, but can only helplessly turn pages, keeping up with the cat and mouse game being played. (And I had a moment where I wanted to flip ahead.....but didn't) But who is the cat and who is the mouse? Again, this was my first introduction to Brigid - and I am very, very intrigued. She's a complex protagonist - on the side of the law, but with very dark thoughts and tendencies. Her niece Gemma-Kate seems to have the same, umm, personality.
Masterman's writing is excellent, driving the reader forward with each new chapter. There's action, but there's also some thoughtful bits exploring the relationship between Carlo and Brigid, as well as some philosophical discussions.
The plot moves along at a good pace, culminating in a final scene that was just right. My only question was whether this antagonist would have pursued this elusive piece of evidence, having his role in the killings go unnoticed for many, many years.
I enjoyed We Were Killers Once and I will indeed be looking forward to further work from Masterman. Here's an excerpt of We Were Killers Once.