( Backstory: I have to confess – I love mysteries. Particularly British detective series. So I saved this book for a day I knew I would need a treat – and it’s fair to say I was not disappointed. So much so that I read this one straight through, elevating my entire day to the emotional equivalent of one giant delightful hug.)
DI Fiona Williams is a fiery red head – headstrong, stubborn and extremely capable at her job. Her DCI, Peter Hatherall, is a good friend, and with two failed marriages under his belt, may or may not be a romantic interest (they are still working it out). (Interesting already!)
When Fiona and Peter stumble on a catastrophic car crash scene – complete with charred remains, suspicious circumstances and a reluctant witness, the stage is set for a homicide investigation, a process which quickly begins to uncover a complex coil of suspects, victims, and an entire posse of shady criminals, who are none too worried about any additional violence or murders that may be needed to cover their tracks.
Reminiscent in many ways of Deborah Crombies excellent series featuring Scotland Yard detectives Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid, sinking into this story was indeed pure pleasure for this mystery and crime reader. The plot was well orchestrated, with just enough twists and turns to keep me guessing throughout, intermingled with nail-biting suspense and an undercurrent of threat that left me cringing for the safety of several young and terror-stricken victims.
Fiona herself is a wonderfully layered character – tough and determined, ambitious and clever – but at the same time, unnecessarily sarcastic and sometimes just plain wrong in her lightning-fast judgements. Peter, on the other hand, is still a bit of an enigma to me – after just this one book, I haven’t quite made up my mind about him and I look forward to getting to know more of him and this duo through their further exploits in additional books.
A great big thank you to the author for an ARC of this book (and an introduction to a whole new detective series). All thoughts presented are my own.