After the head of an international bank dies in a fire at his isolated English manor, a detective must decide if he’s dealing with an accident or a case of murder.
Sir John Fairbrother had always been the arrogant and imperious ruler of his family’s bank, but in the year before the fire, he’d been acting oddly. He dismissed the couple who had served him for decades and put in their stead another couple with a dubious background. Was it Fairbrother’s Parkinson’s disease that caused the changes? DI David Vogel explores these and other strange doings in the aftermath of the fire, which also killed the banker’s nurse. For example, why was there a falling out between Sir John and his daughter, Bella, who by all accounts was capable of, and poised to, taking over the family bank? And what will it mean for the family when Fairbrother’s lazy playboy son, Freddie, shows up back in Britain? When another death occurs, Vogel and his team expand their search across England and beyond. Bonner (Deadly Dance, 2017, etc.) moves the story along fairly well but doesn’t generate much suspense. She too often makes the error of telling, not showing, personal traits or insights. Phrases such as “Vogel felt a cold shiver run up and down his spine” don’t help, either.
Even a clever twist at the end can’t save this story from being ultimately forgettable.