The Teacher is an engrossing, thrilling and pacey murder mystery where the police and pitted against a brutal killer seeking revenge. The novel is delivered along 3 threads. One thread is a series of brutal murders, first a headmaster of a private school in Exeter by a mysterious figure, with the following deaths becoming more and more gruesome. What is the connection and how do the victims know it’s coming? The second thread involves 2 detectives that have been paired together to investigate one of the murders. Each is recovering from career damaging incidents each coping with major physiological issues but both highly capable investigators. The third thread is a museum taxidermist that has a lot of personal and interrelational issues, with a background that you’re brought back to throughout the book. She has become significantly detached from the world and her relationships with other people.
The plot is well put together and rather than being a typical whodunit with multiple twist and turns, it is more a plot being slowly revealed because it is clear, pretty early on, who the killer is and who will catch her/him. Don’t let that put you off because layer after layer is revealed as to the circumstances that formed the motivation and modus operandi of the killer, and the background to the other main characters. Each thread tantalising interweaves and threatens to reveal only to pull away, ensuring the story is captivating and kept at a great pace. The characters are quite dysfunctional at times as they struggle with their past and the relationships they start to develop.
While the main plot is obvious there are other subplots and agendas being played out and it all had meaning with interrelating facets and never felt cliché. The ending is good and creates more questions that have you thinking after you’ve finished the book.
This is a tremendous story and very impressive as a debut novel. I’ve already bought her other two books.
The other 2 books in the series: The Secret and The Angel