The creator of Naomi Blake (Legacy of Lies, 2007, etc.) sets her new series in the sleepy south coast town of Frantham, where escaping the past isn’t as easy as it looks.
DI Sebastian McGregor hopes his new post will offer nothing more challenging than keeping a lid on the mischief perpetrated by the young vandals in Jubilee Estate, the local housing association project. Back from medical leave, he still needs time to heal from the trauma of seeing a child slashed to death before his eyes by the kidnapper he’d cornered. But George Parker and his sister Karen, the kids who break into Mrs. Freer’s home in the still-nice end of Newell Street, aren’t vandals. In addition to being a competent student at the local comprehensive school, George has the added burden of helping Karen care for their helpless mother while the family hides from an abusive father. The Parkers’ childish break-in, however, turns deadly after Mrs. Freer confronts them with a gun. Soon enough, Mac has an unexpected murder investigation on his hands. Luckily, he’s got some help, not only from sympathetic superior DI Eden and knowledgeable probationer Frank Baker, but from amateur sleuth Rina Martin, who retired to run a pleasant seaside boarding house.
Rina’s kickoff emphasizes people and place, letting the reader in on secrets early and relying on psychological conflict to drive the appealing plot.