Published by Severn House,
7 August 2022.
ISBN: 978-0-7278-5096-6 (HB)
In February 1930, in Leicestershire, Brady Brewer is hanged for the murder of Sarah Downham. Even as the rope was round his neck Brady shouts, ‘I didn’t do for that girl, it wasn’t me’.
On his way to work on an early March morning Farmworker Ronan Kerr finds the body of a young girl lying beside the road, less than a mile from where Sarah was found.
Called to the scene is Inspector Walker. As he looks at the young dead girl, he recognises that the method of killing is the same as that of Sarah Downham. His mind rebels against the thought that he got it wrong and leans in the direction of a copycat killing.
When DCI Henry Johnstone learns of the hanging his response is that Brewer had long deserved the rope and on many counts. His Sergeant Micky Hitchens while not disagreeing with his boss, does raise the matter of Brewers sister who insists that he was with her the night of the murder, but as far as Henry is concerned, the matter is now closed. Then two weeks later they receive a request for their assistance in East Harborough, where a second body of a young girl has been found murdered.
The arrival of DCI Henry Johnson and his sergeant does not sit well with Inspector Walker, but it is commonplace for police officers from Scotland Yard not being welcomed by the local constabulary. And with the complication that a man has been hanged for an earlier murder with the same MO as the latest killing makes for a tense situation for all concerned. Was Brady Bradley innocent of the murder of Sarah Downham?
As investigation into the second death gets under way there are many conflicting stories. Henry realises that to solve the current murder he must first establish who did kill Sarah. Brady’s sister insists that Brady and Sarah were seeing each other and that he loved her, whereas her family tell a different story. Further complications arise when it comes to light that the Sarah was wearing a yellow dress when she was found, but the yellow dress is nowhere to be found.
This is the 8th book in the Henry Johnstone Mystery series, and we find Henry more irritable then usual. In the early books Sergeant Mickey Hitchens who is eminently sensible, and has a good way with people, has often in the past saved a situation from going wrong. But Henry is aware that Mickey is well overdue for promotion and knows that he cannot hold Mickey back, but he is feeling trepidation at the approaching separation from his colleague.
As with earlier books in this series Jane paints a vivid picture of the period.
So, did Brady Brewer murder Sarah Downham? And if he did, who has killed the second young girl Penelope Soper? Are there two killers in the quiet market town of East Harborough? Or has an innocent man been hanged?
plotted with many twists and turns, this book is most highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Sirett
Jane Adams was born in Leicestershire, where she still lives. She has a degree in Sociology and has held a variety of jobs including lead vocalist in a folk rock band. She enjoys pen and ink drawing; martial arts and her ambition is to travel the length of the Silk Road by motorbike. Her first book, The Greenway, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Award in 1995 and for the Author's Club Best First Novel Award. Jane writes several series. Her first series featured Mike Croft. Several books featuring DS Ray Flowers. Seven titles featuring blind Naoimi Blake, and six titles featuring Rina Martin. In 2016 she started a series set between the two World Wars and featuring Detective Inspector Henry Johnstone and his sergeant, Micky Hitchens. Bury Me Deep is the first book in a series featuring Detective Inspector Rozlyn Priest. Jane has also written several standalone novels. She is married with two children.