The growing roster of the dead in the Wye Valley of Wales extends a thriving forensic practice by leaps and bounds.
Word of mouth has given forensic pathologist Richard Pryor; his partner, former Home Office forensic scientist Angela Bray; and their lab tech Siân and housekeeper/secretary Moira more than enough to keep them busy. But new cases seem to arrive every day. Richard begins this round by checking out a death at a Welsh farm. It looks as if a mechanic there has been killed when a tractor he was working on slipped off the wooden blocks holding it up. Richard soon discovers that the accidental death is really murder. The man had been strangled, then hanged in a bid to make him appear a suicide, then crushed by the tractor in a final attempt to confuse the evidence. Richard’s other big case is more complicated. A Cotswold veterinarian has been accused of murdering his wife, who was close to death from cancer. The case, which will require help from all the regulars, hinges on the amount of potassium found in her eyes.
Retired pathologist Knight follows his last Pryor mystery (Where Death Delights, 2010) with another solid effort. Don’t expect fireworks, just a character-driven look at the life of forensic scientists in 1950s Britain with a touch of romance.