Dark deeds have even darker origins in Green’s seventh Kinsella entry.
Kate Kinsella (Deadly Choice, 2004, etc.) and her landlord, funeral director Hubert Humberstone, have lapsed into an easy, almost connubial relationship, sharing their respective woes over Spaghetti Bolognaise [sic]. When Hubert is short-staffed, Kate reluctantly agrees to prepare 92-year-old Ivy Waites for burial. But in washing the body, Kate finds bruises where arthritic Ivy couldn’t have left them, and realizes that the elderly woman had been raped. She soon finds other victims: Alvira Trees, who was attacked in her home by someone who called her by name, and feisty Betty Scott, who comments on her attacker’s meager endowments. The Longborough police, led by DCI Ray Waterworth, are too preoccupied with the death of 18-year-old Zoe Burroughs to focus on attacks against old women too ashamed even to report them. So it’s up to Kate to investigate with help from her ex-boyfriend, police detective David Todman. But then Alice Dawes, one of Hubert’s employees, is raped and strangled; Lianne Brooks, whose grandmother was buried three months ago, goes missing; and Grace Pattingham, one of the few to attend landowner Freda Armstrong’s funeral, also disappears. Kate realizes that the attacks are part of a wider web of corruption, and that the web’s center just might be Humberstone’s.
A solid, old-fashioned connect-the-dots puzzler with a surprisingly creepy underside.