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Sunday 24 July 2022

‘The Promise of Salvation’ by Nikki Copleston

Published by Silverwood Books,
11 November 2021.

ISBN: 978-1-80042154-7 (PB)

During a ferocious gale in Greywood Forest, Wiltshire, two sheets of corrugated iron covering an old well known as Ploughboy’s Pit are ripped away landing on the lawn of the end house in a terrace of small houses and revealing a small skeleton.

The skeleton is identified as being that of little Yazmin Fletcher who disappeared twenty years ago. Investigating officer DI Jeff Lincoln promises Sonia, her mother, that he'll find out what happened to her. But he is hampered by his new boss DCI Dale Jacobs, who'd rather he investigated an incident at the Press Vale Country Club, where waitress Amy Cartland says one of the guests tried to rape her. Apparently, when escaping she literally ran into local aristocrat Hugh Buckthorn, a respected historian, who say he will make a statement if she decides to go to the police, 

Then Hugh Buckthorn, is found dead in his partners flat in what appears to be a sex game that has gone wrong. Buckthorn previously known as a playboy has only recently returned to the area determined to restore the fortunes of his family home Greywood Hall.  To this end he is cataloguing the old paintings stacked away in the Hall’s attic with a view to putting them on display.

As Lincoln investigates, he begins to suspect that what was originally thought to be accidental death, could be murder.  But why? And Who.

With two mysteries to solve Lincoln has his work cut out. In the greater part by his unpleasant, overbearing, rude boss, who want him to drop the Yazmin cold case, and concentrate on the present-day case. As Lincoln’s team probe deeper into the people Hugh had been dealing with, up pops the name Frankie Ross, who seems to have a finger in everything. On the other hand trying to keep under the radar, Lincoln is also determined to find out who killed little Yazmin.

This is a multi-layer mystery, full of twists and turns as more information comes to light.  The characters are all well-developed, in that both sides are evenly portrayed, so that we have the lives of both the main players, and the police team.

The Promise of Salvation is the fourth book in the series featuring DI Jeff Lincoln, who is still trying to fix up his house. His pluming doesn’t work, so no baths or in fact heating, and he seems to be missing a high number of floorboards. His girlfriend Trish has taken a position in Essex cataloguing old books. It has turned out to be a bigger job than she had first thought which has resulted in her hiring an assistant. Stewart seems very knowledgeable but also a little pushy and for some unknown reason she is not too comfortable with him. It is clear that Lincoln is missing her but seems unable to say the words. Will this long-distance relationship stand the test of time?

Cleverly plotted, this is a complex and fascinating mystery, and is highly recommended.

Lizzie Sirett

Nikki Copleston  was born in Somerset and raised in the West Midlands and Wiltshire, Nikki Copleston worked in local government in London for many years. Her grandfather and great-grandfather were policemen, which may explain why she's always enjoyed watching detective series on television and reading crime novels. She is an active member of Frome Writers' Collective, which supports and promotes writers in the Frome area. When she isn't writing, she enjoys exploring the West Country with her camera. She is already working on the next DI Jeff Lincoln novel. She and her husband now live in Wells, Somerset, with their cat.

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