Private travails and professional woes take their toll on Detective Inspector Joseph Rafferty (Dying for You, 2004, etc.) as he hunts the killer of an elderly widow.
Not only has Rafferty’s 16-year-old niece Gemma presented the family with an unplanned bundle of joy, but his girlfriend of four months, Abra Kearney, hints that she’s soon likely to follow suit. Rafferty’s eloquent silence is followed by Abra’s disappearance, leaving the 30-something detective to grieve over a relationship that seemed as if it were going to work out—unlike the string of failed relationships his latest murder suspect, Jane Ogilvie, boasts. Jane, also near 40, has left her prim and proper mother’s house to breed a multicolored pack of brats, with a new one on the way. Now that Clara Mortimer has died intestate, Jane stands to inherit enough to move herself, her boy-toy Darryl Jesmond, and her children Charles, Hakim and Aurora out of their meager squat—giving Jane motive aplenty for the bashing. But Clara’s estranged husband Harry is also in the running, along with other residents of the block of flats, notably “Fancy” Freddie Talbot, whose advances Clara unceremoniously rejected, and Freddie’s old flame Amelia Frobisher. Despite the support of his steady partner, Dafyd Llewellyn, sorting truth from lies while searching for the vanished Abra taxes Rafferty’s patience to the limit.
Evans’s seventh provides a spirited mix of detection, family drama and social commentary.