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Tuesday 11 February 2020

Hillary’s Back! by Faith Martin

Published by Joffe Books,
5 February 2020.
ISBN: 978-1-78931342-0 (PB)

Hillary’s Back! and I am absolutely thrilled that she is.  In the 17th book in the series A Narrow Trajectory, published in 2016, and reissued by Joffe Books in August 2019, under the title Hillary’s Final Case, Hillary said goodbye to Thames Valley Police HQ and set off for a different life.  I am not going to tell you why or where in case you are new to the series and it might constitute a spoiler.

In the time that she has been away things have moved on and her boss is now Superintendent Sale aka Rollo to Hillary. She is no longer DI Greene, but a police consultant.  Domiciled down in the bowels of the building, Hillary is heading up the CRT (Crime Review Team) clearing up cold cases. She has two assistants, Claire Woolley, who worked for 25 years in the domestic violence and rape unit, and a new recruit, former soldier, Garath Proctor.  On a personal note Hilary is back on her narrow boat the Mollern and still driving Puff the Tragic Wagon, her rusting Volkswagen, who is getting more temperamental every day.

Her first case on her return is the murder of Andrew Feeley, twenty-one-year-old who was stabbed to death in the summer of 2012, in the woods surrounding the village of Tackley.  As Hillary and her team familiarise themselves with the original case, one thing becomes very clear, Andrew was a drug dealer, a pimp, and a bully, and extremely unpopular. The more they investigate the more they realise that many people would have wanted Andrew dead.  But giving his criminal activities, was his death drug related?

Initially, it seems the original investigating officer has done a fair job, and all the people they re-interview tell the same story. Nothing new is coming to light, but Hillary’s approach is different, so can she solve this murder.  And how will our new recruit fit in?  Clearly, he has something on his mind and Hilary has already picked up on it.

I was so delighted to have a new Hillary Greene mystery, that I read it in one sitting, couldn’t put it down.   Whilst we have a complete story, I am heartened that the author has also left a tantalising hook that has me hoping their will be more of Hillary Greene. Oh! I do hope so.  I am already eager to know what happens next. Highly recommended.  
Reviewer: Lizzie Sirett

Faith Martin is a pen name of English author Jacquie Walton who was born in Oxford. She is best known for writing a series of books set around Oxfordshire, with the starring character being DI Hillary Greene. She also has a series set in Oxford in 1960 featuring PC Trudy Loveday, who is assigned to help coroner Clement Ryder.  Writing as Joyce Cato she has published seven books featuring Jenny Starling, a travelling cook and amateur detective. And four books featuring Monica Noble, a vicar's wife with a taste for solving crimes.

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