Because she had so much practice looking for all sorts of things while she was working in a solicitor’s office, Brodie Farrell has become so good at finding them that she hangs out a shingle (“Looking for Something?”) and starts finding replacement china and locations for film work and missing people. But she comes a cropper when she agrees to find Charles Merrick, who bilked Selina Boyle out of £15,000. Charles Merrick doesn’t really exist—Brodie’s quarry is actually a math teacher named Daniel Hood—and neither does Selina Boyle. Instead, a trio of unknown miscreants wants to find Daniel so that they can take him prisoner for two days, torture him with burning cigarettes and a lighter, shoot him in the chest, and leave him for dead. When Brodie reads about his death in the Dimmock Sentinel, she calls on DI Jack Deacon to confess her unwitting role in the crime, and discovers, in the first of many deceptions smartly unmasked, that Daniel’s still alive. The only way she can make amends for what she cost him is by helping him find somebody in turn—his three tormentors and the reason they were so sure he knew what had happened to the “Sophie” whose name they kept hurling at him in between smokes.
Brodie launches her new series by finding not only the perps and their motive but Sophie herself, though veteran Bannister (Changelings, 2000, etc.) holds onto her climactic secret for so long that it’ll be obvious even to readers who are no good at finding things.