Cambridge DC Gary Goodhew (Cambridge Blue, 2008) must deal with arson, kidnapping, murder and worse.
Three years after Nicholas Lewton disappeared from his job at the Celeste pub with a sizable sum belonging to his father, Celeste owner Dougie Lewton, Nick’s car turns up in a stretch of the Mediterranean off Cartagena. His body is recovered as well, but not the money. The discovery sends his former girlfriend, painter Kimberly Guyver, into a panic. She and her oldest friend, Rachel Golinski, are soon plotting some obscure damage control that requires sending Kim’s two-year-old son Riley to stay with Rachel. Whatever their plan is, it either doesn’t work out or requires extreme measures, for very shortly thereafter Rachel’s house is burned down with her inside, obliterating every trace of Riley, who’s vanished along with Rachel’s violently inclined husband Stefan. It’s obvious that plenty of locals, from Kim to Mule, the Celeste cook Stefan beat up before he vanished, know more than they’re telling Goodhew and the other police investigators. And at least one concerned party—Kim’s ex-lover Jay Andrews, Riley’s father, whose attacker years ago left him with a brain injury that rendered him mute—knows more than he’s physically capable of telling. But it’s much less obvious how the pieces of the puzzle are connected, or whether the police at Parkside Station, whose relationships seem scarcely less dysfunctional than those of the suspects, are in any position to fit them together.
A satisfyingly meaty procedural for readers willing to fill in the blanks left by Bruce’s elliptical narration.