Ex-Detective Inspector Naomi Blake (Heatwave, 2005, etc.) tries to help local teens understand how one of their own could become a murderer and a suicide.
Rob Beresford’s schoolmates Patrick, Charlie and Becky can’t believe their friend would kill a middle-aged man, then throw himself into the river. So Patrick—whose mother lives in Florida with her new husband, leaving Patrick in England with his overprotective father Harry—unburdens himself to his friend Naomi Blake, whose boyfriend just happens to be DI Alec Friedman. Naomi tries to find a connection between Rob and Adam Hensel, the middle-aged man he stabbed to death with a penknife. Soon Patrick is emailing Hensel’s teenaged niece Jennifer, who’s disgraced the family by becoming pregnant and refusing to name the father. In the meantime, Hensel’s father, Ernst, forms an unlikely alliance with Clara Beresford, Rob’s mother. But Naomi’s discovery of a relationship between Adam Hensel and a prostitute turns up the sordid side of his murder. Despite her blindness, Naomi seems in the best position to see the crime in its true light.
Adams expends her energy in exploring the inner lives of her characters and the relationships they form with each other. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it makes for more melodrama than mystery.