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Sunday 17 October 2021

‘The Evidence’ by Jodie Lawrance

Published by Joffe Books,
29 July 2021.
ISBN:978-1-78931884-5 (PB)

It is 1977 in Edinburgh and Detective Sergeant Helen Carter is about to return to work after being injured during her last case. Although, she is still in some pain from time to time.


On her first day back she and the team are called out when a woman's body is found in a derelict hospital. She is identified as a Tina French, a single mother with a young son. Curiously a chunk of her hair has been hacked off.


Meanwhile we learn of a Moira McKenzie returning home after spending time with her lover. She is horrified to find her brutal husband Reggie, washing blood off his hands. He gives her no explanation and tells her to wash the towel he has used which is also covered in blood.


Reports have come in before about his abuse of Moira. So, when some days later a copious amount of her blood is found in their apartment with no sign of her, suspicion immediately falls on Reggie. However, he has an alibi and seems genuinely upset at her disappearance.


Looking back in the archives Helen and the team find a case of another woman who was attacked when she had a chunk of her hair cut off. Luckily a neighbour frightened off her assailant and she survived. They interviewed her but she didn't get a good look at whoever it was.


Throughout the investigation, Helen also has to deal with problems developing in her own personal life, plus the fact that she still has not fully recovered.


Concern now really grows for Moira's whereabouts. Then Reggie disappears. Suspicion now falls on a man seen dumping what turned out to be Moira's purse, and he is taken in for questioning.


The plot twists and turns more and more. Can Helen and the team solve the murder of Tina and discover what has happened to Moira and of course Reggie?


A really enjoyable thriller, which kept me guessing right to the action filled end.


As an extra, the author left the final pages open deliciously to lead to another story about Detective Sergeant Helen Carter.

Thoroughly recommended.

Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

Jodie Lawrance graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2018 with an MA in Creative Writing. When not writing, she is also an actress and has appeared in a variety of television, stage and film.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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