"ZOE BOEHM" SERIES
Down Cemetery Road, Constable (London, England), 2003.
The Last Voice You Hear, Constable (London, England), 2004.
Why We Die, Constable (London, England), 2006.
British writer Mick Herron is the author of suspense novels featuring Zoe Boehm, a private investigator. His first effort, Down Cemetery Road, was a learning experience that he discusses openly in his essay for Shots Online, "Where I Get My Ideas From." Herron notes that no writer is willing to give away all of his or her trade secrets, but he still reveals much of his own process as he discusses his original plan for the novel and how it changed as he altered the plot and embellished the point of view. In so doing, he created his heroine, Oxford private investigator Zoe Boehm.
For his follow-up novel, The Last Voice You Hear, Herron wanted to write about love in relation to death, and the result was a story of three deaths and the people whose lives are touched by those deaths. Once again, Zoe Boehm is the investigator looking into the crimes, only her own aversion to death, acquired in Herron's earlier book, provides an additional layer of tension. It does not help that one of the deaths she is investigating is that of a twelve-year-old purse snatcher named Wez, whom Zoe had known since he was nine. J.A. Kaszuba Locke, writing for BookLoons, stated: "Herron is talented in establishing action and dialogue, and creating a psychological thriller." A Kirkus Reviews contributor found that "the engaging heroine never loses her cool, from the melancholy opening to the whirlwind finale." Jenny McLarin, in a review for Booklist, praised the novel's "complex and fascinating heroine, Zoe Boehm." Francine Levitov, writing for Kliatt, stated that "Herron is a fine writer who can jar readers with unique and arresting images," and dubbed The Last Voice You Hear an "intense psychological thriller." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly declared: "This plot is intriguing from opening to denouement," while Stephanie Padilla, in a review for New Mystery Reader, remarked: "This brilliant novel, filled with pathos, redemption, and all the drama one could wish for, is simply stunning."
Why We Die is the third in Herron's series of Zoe Boehm suspense novels. The book follows Zoe as she attempts to find a gang of jewelry-store thieves, and to help recent widower Tim Whitby in his efforts to protect abused wife Kay Dunstan, whose brothers-in- law happen to be two of the robbers. Sue O'Brien, in a review for Booklist, noted that the story was "full of well-developed but (except for Zoe and Tim) mostly unlikable characters." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly wrote: "Smart, dogged and never down for the count, Zoe is a fine addition to the ranks of female PIs," and called the book "dazzling."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 15, 2004, Jenny McLarin, review of The Last Voice You Hear, p. 212; October 1, 2006, Sue O'Brien, review of Why We Die, p. 41.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2004, review of The Last Voice You Hear, p. 839; August 15, 2006, review of Why We Die, p. 812.
Kliatt, September, 2005, Francine Levitov, review of The Last Voice You Hear, p. 51.
Publishers Weekly, September 27, 2004, review of The Last Voice You Hear, p. 40; August 14, 2006, review of Why We Die, p. 182.
BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (February 27, 2007), J.A. Kaszuba Locke, review of The Last Voice You Hear.
Book World Online,http://www.washingtonpost.com/ (October 31, 2004), Dennis Drabelle, "Mysteries: From London to Washington, Five Gumshoes with Murder in Mind," review of The Last Voice You Hear.
Mystery Scene Online,http://www.mysteryscenemag.com/ (February 27, 2007), Allison Block, review of The Last Voice You Hear.
New Mystery Reader,http://www.newmysteryreader.com/ (February 27, 2007), Stephanie Padilla, review of The Last Voice You Hear.
Shots Online,http://www.shotsmag.co.uk/ (February 27, 2007), Mick Herron, "Where I Get My Ideas From."