I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Kill Me Twice is the second book about investigator and journalist Morgan Vine, who aims to right miscarriages of justice. Although I haven’t read the first book about Morgan, I was quickly able to catch up through Booker’s informative, but not boring, background information, and dove into the story of Morgan’s attempt to exonerate prisoner Anjelica of her ex-partner’s murder. Largely because Morgan has seen him outside her house. And you can’t have murdered someone who isn’t dead.
Karl Savage is dead.
He must be. His ex, Anjelica, is in prison for murdering him in an arson attack. Multiple forensic experts testified to finding his charred remains.
So when Anjelica begs investigative journalist Morgan Vine to prove her innocence, it seems an impossible task. It doesn’t matter that Karl was abusive. That Anjelica has a baby to care for. That she’s petrified of fire. The whole world knows Karl is dead.
Then he walks past Morgan’s window . . .
I really enjoyed this story of Anjelica, Morgan, Karl, Morgan’s daughter Lissa, and a host of other prisoners and ex-cons. Interspersed with the story of Karl Savage’s past, we follow Morgan as she begins to uncover a tangled web of lies and conspiracies, including prisoners getting out of jail after three years, with six-month old babies.
There was a whole lot going on in this book, but for the most part, it never felt like it was overblown. Morgan’s entanglement with the case was part coincidence, part design, and her investigative process ran into enough issues with obstructive coppers and surly prison guards that it never felt like she was figuring everything out too fast.
I read this in a single day, starting in the afternoon when I was sitting on the couch eating lunch with my mum, and finishing it that night, curled up in bed. And for the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had only two main complaints.
The first was the story of forensic odontologist, Jatinder Singh. I think my main issue here was that Karl Savage had (somewhat conveniently) had dental x-rays taken only 11 days before his death. And then, when his murder was being investigated, those x-rays perfectly matched the post-mortem x-rays of the dead body’s teeth.
It’s not a spoiler to say that, obviously, the dead man wasn’t Karl Savage, because the fact that he’s still running around, clearly alive, is the main plot point of the book. But the way that the x-rays were faked didn’t make much sense to me. Savage intimidated and threatened Singh into duplicating the original x-rays, taken 11 days before his death, and passing them off as x-rays of the dead body. But less than two weeks before he died (obviously he didn’t die, and planned this somewhat) is close enough that it could well have been part of his plan. Wouldn’t it be much easier to threaten and intimidate his small-time local dentist than Singh, who is an affluent private, busy dentist, who also happens to dabble in forensics? The logic here made no sense, to me.
My other complaint was the secondary mystery of the story, which runs throughout the book, but is only resolved in the last two chapters. And my main complaint about that was that it wasn’t really resolved. Rather, it was just left open, as if to set up for another book. I wouldn’t mind a certain degree of ambiguity in the ending – the nature of the actions of the protagonist, and the revelation in the ending pages would have made ambiguity and future uncertainty practically a dead cert – but this read like a set-up for further books.
Morgan Vine is certainly a compelling main character, and I would be interested in finding her first adventure. If her next is following on from the closing pages of this book, I’ll be quite disappointed, but if it stands alone, I’ll definitely be interested in picking that up too.