Sara-Jayne Townsend is a published crime and horror writer and likes books in which someone dies horribly. She is founder and Chair Person of the T Party Writers’ Group. http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com/
Following the harrowing case that nearly finished him
off, DI Bob Valentine returns to normal duties in the small Scottish town on
He is called to
deal with a murder – a man found face down on his kitchen table with a knife
wound in his neck. The man’s partner and her daughter are missing, adding to
the mystery. As DI Valentine investigates, the family’s history becomes ever
murkier. Can he get to the bottom of this disturbing case?
This would be a
fairly run of the mill Scottish police procedural – complete with
psychologically dysfunctional copper – if not for a supernatural thread running
through it, and one that feels somewhat out of place in the genre it claims to
be. Since his near-death experience DI Valentine sees dead people. I also felt
I was missing out on something by not having read the first book in the series.
I suspect that in order to get a true handle on Valentine’s psychological state
of mine, you need to start the series from the beginning.
much to like here: a gripping mystery, and some intriguing characters. Some of
them are intensely annoying, but there are also some I cared enough about to
want to know what happened to them: DS Sylvia McCormack, for instance, who
would be an interesting enough character even without the misogyny she has to
face in her working life, which made me sympathise with her all the more.
Straddling a line
between a straight police procedural and a supernatural crime drama, reading
this novel requires an open mind if you are used to non-supernatural crime
thrillers. However, it’s an exciting and well-plotted story, and well worth
taking a chance on.