Since the birth of their baby daughter, Cameron and Eleanor Sexton have ensured they have a regular date night. They have a regular teenage baby-sitter, Oliver, who is utterly reliable. But when they call from the restaurant to check in, there’s no answer. Panicking, they race home, but what they find is the last thing that they expect.
DS Jessica Daniel and her team investigate, but soon they find that a dangerous killer is at work. But there may be more dangerous people at large than just a murderer – a local club owner seems to be at the centre of everything and he has more than one way of destroying a life. But Jessica has trouble focussing on the case – the people she trusts most in the world are keeping secrets from her, secrets that could tear her life apart.
I’m never sure why I leave it so long between reading Kerry Wilkinson’s work – which is almost exactly the same thing I said when I reviewed Playing With Fire – because his books are always tense and gripping reads – this one took me about a day to finish (although I was off work with some unnameable lurgy which has since departed). As ever, Jessica Daniel is an endearing lead, relatively trauma free (until now?), with her main concern being that she might be getting a little bit old. Of course, as she’s sub-forty, she’s not… I’m halfway to ninety (give or take a few days) so this bit got on my nerves a little. It’s only mentioned very occasionally but my imminent decrepitude did make it stand out.
It’s a fairly clued mystery as well – that’s worth pointing out – although I doubt many readers will spot the killer. There’s quite a lot of distractions going on which should hinder the reader from working it out – although one early plot development that puts an interesting spin on the case is ditched early on in a disappointing manner.
Regardless, this is a winner of a book with some particularly nasty (but not in an explicit way) villains, charming leads and a twisty plot. I’ve still got a couple more of this series on the TBR pile – I’ll try not to leave it so long next time… but I’ve said that before, haven’t I? Regardless, this is Highly Recommended.
“…her main concern being that she might be getting a little bit old. Of course, as she’s sub-forty, she’s not…”
Ugh! “No one knows what old is until they’re 80 plus and unable to walk and having everyone hover over you doing everything you can’t do for yourself anymore” That’s a quote from my mother in her final years. She hated losing her independence and essentially gave up when she lost her mobility. It’s heartbreaking to watch *real* old age rob someone of their humanity. Like you I get tired of hearing about “old people” when referring to anyone over the age of 30. Who cares if its meant to be sarcastic or passed off as humor. It ought to stop. Says a lot about the young person who thinks and talks like that. When I was younger we never were obsessed with old age the way everyone is now. I never thought about it! Your “imminent decrepitude” has a couple of decades to go, my friend. So says this 55 year-old constantly on the battle with the old age quipsters. (Dismounts soap box before he really starts a tirade)
Oh the book! The plot of this book sounds like hundreds of movies and TV shows I’ve already seen. Doesn’t interest me at all. But I have to say that sometimes you really do get my curiosity piqued and I’m off on the hunt for one of these books. Because you tend to read only books published in the UK it presents a problem for readers like me who live in the US. I’ve been looking for copies of Robert Thorogood’s “Death in Paradise” novels, but over here it’s next to impossible. We have a chain of bookstores called Half Price Books which has tapped into a distributor who supplies them with UK publishers’ remainders. I keep hoping that Thorogood’s books will turn up but it’s been two years now (!) and I’ve had no luck. I may have to break down and order them from Bookdepository.com, the only reputable online dealer that waives shipping for every purchase no matter where you live.
Sorry about the age jokes.
As for the familiarity of the tale, there are twists from the norm here that I’ve avoided revealing spoilers. The strength of the series though is in its readability and characters.
Sorry the books are hard to get over there – it gives you something to look for 🙂
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