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Wednesday 6 October 2021

‘A Narrow Exit’ by Faith Martin


Published by Robert Hale,
29 April 2011.

ISBN: 978-0-70909204-9 (HB)

DI Hilary Greene is due to retire in a few weeks, and despite pressure from her boss to change her mind and stay Hilary is still on track to leave, planning to take a leisurely trip on the waterways for an extended holiday on her narrowboat, The Mollern.

Called to the discovery of a body at the Aynho Islip Business Park near Banbury, Hilary is dismayed to find that the Security Guard is her ex-Sergeant Frank Ross, who she had been glad to ease out of the force, and now here he is in the thick of things. The deceased is Michael Ives, a manager of a shoe warehouse. Enquiries elicit that Michael Ives was a gambler and a womaniser and there is no shortage of suspects. Whilst Hilary is aware that she should really not work this case in view of her past association with Frank Ross, she sees this case as a way to exit the force on a high, and so decides not to report the presence of Frank Ross to her boss.

A request for a meeting from her ex-Sergeant, now DI Janine Mallow, alerts Hilary to the danger of Superintendent Brian Vane, who although shortly to move to a new position up north is keen to discredit his old enemy Hillary Greene before he goes. Janine had shot and killed the killer of her husband Philip Mallow and turned to Hilary for help. Philip Mallow had been one of Hilary's great friends and with Janine heavily pregnant at the time of the killing, Hilary had struck her neck out for Janine, and it appears that Brian Vane is sniffing around in the hope of finding something that will bring Hilary down.

With her retirement drawing ever closer, a complicated case, and the need to watch her back this is a gripping entry in this excellent series. Despite the title I so hope that this isn't the last of Hilary Greene. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes

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 7 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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