A tale of two murders.
Agatha Browning, an Englishwoman who kept to herself, has been stabbed to death near her ransacked cabin in the woods of British Columbia. The only clue is her missing car, which was driven away by an unknown woman. Inspector Darling is abruptly pulled off the case by a government official who demands that he go to England to assist in an inquiry into an incident when he was a pilot during World War II. His departure poses a serious complication for his budding love affair with Lane Winslow. A spy during the war who was in a disastrous relationship with her controlling boss, Lane left England to live an unfettered life in Canada. Deeply disturbed when Darling is forced to return to England, she follows him and learns that he’s been arrested for murder. The police claim to have eyewitness testimony that he killed one of his men after their plane was shot down in France. Although Scotland Yard’s DI Sims sees a clear case, he’s impressed by Darling and willing to look deeper. Darling’s friend in England has hired a lawyer who initially doubts that Lane can help. But her determination to interview the other crew members, one of whom turns out to have died recently under suspicious circumstances, changes his attitude. As Darling is first granted, then denied bail and moved from prison to prison, Lane sees the sinister hand of the special branch she worked for behind his predicament. Meanwhile, back in Canada, Constable Ames, who’s continuing to work the case, finds that the answers to Agatha Browning’s murder lie in her past in England.
The fourth in Whishaw’s character-driven series (An Old, Cold Grave, 2017, etc.) is relentlessly exciting from start to finish.