Die With Me is the first novel by British author, Elena Forbes, and the first book in the Mark Tartaglia series. When an autopsy on the victim of an apparent suicide in a deserted London church raises questions about the death, DI Mark Tartaglia finds himself in charge of a murder investigation. From laborious examination of coroner’s records, it becomes clear that there are at least two, and possibly three, earlier victims. Emails, suicide notes, locks of hair, presence of GHB and other factors point to a serial killer.
With Tartaglia’s DCI in hospital following an accident, he and DS Sam Donovan are under pressure to produce results, but Tartaglia is infuriated when DCI Carolyn Steele is brought in to head the case. And even more annoyed when she brings in psychologist, Dr Patrick Kennedy as the profiler. Kennedy and Tartaglia have an adverse history on a previous case; Steele is also not as impartial about Kennedy’s role as would be wise. As more deaths occur, Tartaglia is also distracted from his work by his previous affair with pathologist, Dr Fiona Blake.
This is an excellent murder mystery that captures the feel of the west London suburbs and introduces a team of realistically flawed members of the Metropolitan Police force. While the astute reader may be able to determine the perpetrator and the source of various red herrings, this is, nonetheless, a page turner that will keep the reader enthralled to its gripping climax. Forbes leaves plenty of scope for further books in the series, and readers who enjoy this one will be pleased to know there are a further three (so far) to be savoured. An excellent debut.