DCI Evan Warlow – wait, make that ex-DCI Evan Warlow – has retired, at 50, and is planning to spend the rest of his days completing the renovation of his much-loved cottage, enjoying long walks on the Pembrokeshire coast of Wales, with his best-buddy-black-lab, Cadi.
Nursing a dark secret that (no spoilers here, and not even a hint!) has hastened his early retirement, at 50, from the Dyfed-Powys police force, Evan is unceremoniously summoned to assist when a break occurs in his last case, the unsolved disappearance of a sixty-ish couple, with Evan’s familiarity now desperately needed to help fit the new, and uncover the missing, pieces in a case that has dogged him for seven years.
A feast for the senses, this book is dark, atmospheric and utterly compelling – the uniquely craggy Welsh coastline, sheer and rugged sea cliffs, dotted with crumbling ruins and always, that howling wind sheeting galeforce buckets of rain, – an artfully-fitting backdrop as the bodies begin to pile up in a developing story as ominous as it is engaging.
“The dead have no voice other than those who speak up for them”.
Evan’s new homicide team sparkles with crackerjack new characters – (sure to be regulars, in this, the first of a wonderful new detective series) including:
- DI Jess Allanby – newly promoted to SIO (Senior Investigating Officer) and eager to make her mark on this, her first major case to lead, Jess is nobody’s fool, a tough and tender divorced mom to a teenage daughter, whose cool grey eyes and subtly shifting composure may be more than Evan had bargained for.
- DS Catrin Richards – a warm and welcome mentee whose trust in Evan has already been established, – a bond that after eighteen months of mostly solitary retirement, has clearly been missed.
- DC Rhys Harries – a relative newcomer to the force, Rhys is quick to learn and thrilled to be on the team – an energy that may turn out to be as dangerous for Rhys as it is the criminals he pursues.
The story moves quickly with twists and turns that are clever, suspenseful, tragic and moody, with a hint of gothic darkness and just the right amount of white-knuckle fear to keep you guessing and reading late into the night.
Highly recommended, a treat for any mystery fan, and in particular those who enjoy British detective series (my personal favorites). I can’t wait to read the next installment.
My stop on the @Zooloosbooktours #Blogtour for @theEngineHouse by @rhysdylanbooks
A great big thank you to the author, and the publisher for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.