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Sunday 6 August 2017

‘The Dog Walker’ by Lesley Thomson

Published by Head of Zeus,
6 April 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-78497-225-7.

A twenty-nine-year-old murder, but no body ever found.

In 1987 the inhabitants of the cottages by the chilly and atmospheric Thames towpath, all of whom have dogs and walk and meet on their walks, or while jogging. There is Daphne Merry, a declutterer by trade, Natasha Latimer a property developer, Miss Lofthouse a stock exchange worker and a spinster, and the family of the Lawsons, as well as the newly wed HoneySetts.

Helen Honeysett left her cottage to walk her dog and was never seen again. Her dog was found later, lost and bewildered, by a local dog-walker and returned to her husband Adam.

In 2016 Adam Honeysett wants answers. He wants to find out what did happen to Helen. He has an alibi. Another neighbour Steven Lawson was suspected, but never charged. His young daughter Megan had told the police she saw her father leaving their cottage at the time of the murder. Megan has now moved on. Steve Lawson drowned himself not long after Helen went missing. Adam employs Stella Darnell, who runs a cleaning agency but has a private detective agency on the side. While cleaning Adam’s cottage (at number 4), she has a request to clean the cottage at number 1. This belongs to Natasha Latimer, who lived there when Helen went missing. Natasha Latimer believes she has a ghost in her basement, and it may be Helen Honeysett. Stella Darnell calls in her partner Jack to help investigate and from here the crime unravels.

The story is written in time shifts, back and forth from 1987 to 2016. The characters are colourful and interesting. The author has a great gift for atmosphere. I still felt the chilly, damp and haunted towpath long after I closed the book at the end of the last chapter. It is a good and easy read, and I look forward to Thomson’s next.
Reviewer: Linda Regan.

Lesley Thomson was born in 1958 and brought up in Hammersmith, West London, grew up in London. She went to Holland Park Comprehensive and graduated from Brighton University in 1981 and moved to Sydney, Australia.. Her novel A Kind of Vanishing won The People's Book Prize in 2010. Her latest novel The Detective's Daughter is a number one bestseller. Ghost Girl the second in the The Detective's Daughter series is out in May 2014. Lesley combines writing with teaching creative writing at West Dean College. She lives in Lewes with her partner and is working on a new novel featuring Stella Darnell.

Linda Regan is the author of six police procedural crime novels. She is also an actress. She holds a Masters degree in critical writing and journalism, and writes a regular column, including book reviews, for three magazines. She also presents the book-club spot on BBC Radio Kent. She is an avid reader, and welcomes the chance to read new writers. 
A review of her recent book Sisterhoods can be read here.

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