The White twins of Shillingham—-young, blond, and identical—-are window washers by trade, football hooligans and small-time thieves on the side. Their bodies are discovered in the back of their beat-up van, covered by a tarp, keys in the ignition. Monica Tovey had heard the van sputter to a stop late at night on her quiet street and had seen in the streetlight the face of a man walking away. In his 12th case, Detective Chief Inspector David Webb heads the investigation (The Gospel Makers, 1996, etc.) and after single, 40-ish Monica gets a series of mysterious phone calls, keeps her under watch as she goes about her business— running Randall Tovey, the upscale women's shop founded by her grandfather, and serving as a town magistrate. Webb and his team carefully explore the twins' background and the businesses they serviced, one of which is the art gallery owned by Harry Marlow. Harry had once been engaged to Monica's sister Eloise, who'd jilted him for marriage to wine dealer Justin Teal. Now, years later, Harry, married to Claudia, and the Teals are best friends—or are they? Red herrings are strewn across the scene with abandon, but in the end Webb's artistic interests and some long-standing residents' complaints come together to solve the puzzle. Diminished a bit by a not very convincing killer, but, still, a competent, civilized police procedural, enhanced by sensitive probing of snarled relationships and a nicely drawn small-town ambiance.
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