Published by Severn House Trade
Teenager Sarah Griffin, flees from a gun attack that has already killed her mother and step-father. Clasping her fifteen-month-old half-brother, Jack, she makes for a nearby barn but sustains a bullet wound on the way. Sarah reaches the safety of the farm building but she is fast losing blood. Sirens scream the approach of the first police response units and officers soon discover the bodies of Lisanne and Victor Griffin but initially seek in vain for their two children.
DI Ryan Steel and DS Sophie Willis are charged with leading the investigation, but when ex-DI Naomi Blake’s business card is found in the back of the dead couple’s address book the detectives must reframe their initial theories about probable suspects. Naomi and her husband, Alec Friedman, as serving officers, both had dealings with Lisanne and her first husband, Terry Baldwin. The retired detectives agree to travel to Ferrymouth, where the dead couple had lived with their young family, to assist Steel and Willis with historical aspects of the increasingly complex inquiry.
The Friedmans are soon joined by an old friend, a mysterious character known as Gregory, whose background in the military and intelligence services is never fully defined. Gregory now works alongside another friend, Nathan Crow. Naomi feels uneasy with Gregory’s involvement; he and Nathan inhabit a world where distinctions between right and wrong are constantly blurred, and this challenges Naomi’s firm belief in the sanctity of the law. However, the support given by Gregory and Nathan proves invaluable as the investigation penetrates the dangerous and murky underworld of organised crime where players have no regard for the mores that guide conventional society.
Paying the Ferryman’s pacy opening immediately engages the
reader, and the unfolding police procedural, continually driven by new
evidence, thrusts the fast-moving investigation in unexpected directions. The theme of domestic violence runs
throughout the story and, whilst the author describes these episodes with
empathy, its tragic consequences are portrayed graphically and with honesty. This is the tenth book in the Naomi Blake
series and another highly enjoyable read.
Reviewer: Dorothy Marshall-Gent