Dimmock’s not a big place, so it’s no surprise when three separate cases there collide with a smash.
Brodie Farrell’s case isn’t exactly a case. The specialist in finding things for other people now finds herself pregnant by Det. Supt. Jack Deacon, whom she split up with two months ago (Requiem for a Dealer, 2006). Deacon’s not pleased to hear about his stubborn ex-lover’s characteristically independent plans for the baby, but he’s in no position to kick up a fuss. After all, he has his hands full with visiting DI Alix Hyde’s announcement that she’s got local crime lord Terry Walsh, Deacon’s childhood friend, in her sights. While she and Deacon’s faithful sidekick, DS Charlie Voss, are chasing false leads, Daniel Hood, the long-suffering ex-schoolteacher hopelessly in love with Brodie, has taken a job as her assistant. In his new capacity, he’s got a client of his own: Noah Selkirk, 12, whose fears about his parents’ constant quarrels are accompanied by bumps and bruises that make it clear he’s being physically abused. Some of the links among these plot lines are obvious; others will make you laugh, snort or blink back tears.
Not all three cases are equally successful, but all have their share of surprises and more than their share of piercing insights into the conflicts that still rage in the hearts of Bannister’s (The Tinderbox, 2007, etc.) regulars, the most tormented continuing cast outside The Sopranos.