24 November 2016.
This is a skilfully planned police procedural set in rural Lancashire. Inspector Steve Carmichael is expecting a Christmas break with his family but finds that a woman's disappearance requires his attention. His team of detectives work well together as they pursue separate lines of enquiry into what happened to Hayley Bell. Hayley's female friends and her eccentric husband need careful handling as Steve searches for traces of the missing woman who boarded a local train and then vanished.
Steve's chagrin at the loss of his holiday is mitigated by the enjoyment of a respite from his demanding relative Aunt Audrey who has left her care home to join Steve and family. The selfish requirements of the cantankerous aunt are met mainly by Steve's long suffering wife, Penny; the relative is Steve's and not Penny's as she points out!
The scenes of the family Christmas contrast well with the peculiar relationships of the friends and relatives of Hayley. When events escalate to murder the detection hots up too. This is a workmanlike story that holds the reader's attention through to the cleverly twisted ending.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
This is the seventh in the series about DI Carmichael.
|Photo courtsey of Harry Atkinson|