A Book Spy Review: ‘The Girl on the Bridge’ By James Hayman

Girl on the bridge

When Hannah Reindel jumped off a bridge one frigid winter night, her death was ruled a suicide, but that’s only part of the story.

When partners Michael McCabe and Maggie Savage, detectives based in Portland, Maine, are called in by Rachel Thorne, who claims her husband, Joshua, has been kidnapped, the duo are unsure of what to expect. Thorne provides additional details, revealing a picture of Joshua bound to a bed with a clear message about rape. 

As McCabe and Savage investigate, they dive into Joshua’s past. A wealthy, good-looking man who’s made a handsome Wall Street living, Joshua was once the star quarterback at the same school Hannah Reindel attended. Exploring that connection further, the detectives shift attention away from Hannah’s husband, instead focusing on an event that occurred more than a decade ago. 

Twelve years prior, Hannah was viciously hazed, then drugged at a fraternity party before six football players took turns raping her. 

With the clear connection between the message sprawled out on Joshua Thorne’s body and the rape that took place in the past, McCabe and Savage lock in on Hannah’s death and work to make sense of everything. Their theory is proven right when another one of Hannah’s attackers turns up dead, sending the duo on a race to uncover the killer’s identity before anyone else is slain, but their case turns out to be far more complex and dangerous than either could have imagined. 

While readers may benefit from reading past books in the series, it’s not completely necessary to understanding Hayman’s main characters. This is, by all accounts, his darkest book yet, making The Girl on the Bridge feel a bit different from the previous stories as Hayman tackles dark and depressing topics like suicide, rape, and revenge. 

While the story itself is interesting, at times reading a bit like an episode of “Law and Order SVU”, the content is very dark and the story focuses too much attention on police procedures. In the end, readers care far more about being entertained than they do being educated about the inner workings of a police investigation. 

Fans of McCabe and Savage will enjoy seeing the duo back for another case, but new readers may be put off by the darkness of Hayman’s latest plot. But while there are several negatives, there’s plenty to enjoy about The Girl on the Bridge, too. Crime fans usually don’t mind dark and ominous themes, and McCabe and Savage work well as characters, driving the story forward even during some of the slower parts. So while this book might not be for everyone, there’s certainly an audience who will enjoy it. 

Book Details

Author: James Hayman
Series: McCabe and Savage
Pages: 368 (Paperback)
ISBN: 0062661337
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: May 9, 2017 (Order Now!)

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