An anonymous tip reopens a decade-old disappearance for DCI Hannah Scarlett’s Cold Case Review Team.
Reflexologist Emma Bestwick disappeared from Francis and Vanessa Goddard’s home in Monk Coniston ten years ago, soon after explaining her newfound wealth by telling everyone she’d won the lottery. The original investigation team, which included Hannah, discovered precious little except that she hadn’t won a penny. Now pesky reporter Tony Di Venuto, fresh from his tenth-anniversary story on the case, gets a phone call slyly assuring him that Emma won’t be coming home. In fact, Guy Koenig, the con artist who placed the call, could say much more about Emma’s last hours if he so chose. But the sharply appealing riddle of her death is buried beneath layer upon layer of other mysteries, some of them going back 50 years, not one of them involving arsenic. The tangled skein would be perfect for historian Daniel Kind (The Cipher Garden, 2005, etc.) if he weren’t busy fretting over his lover Miranda’s restless yearning to be closer to her columnist’s job in London. So it’s up to Hannah and her team to determine who’s been sleeping with whom, who’s covering up for whom, and who killed whom. It turns out to be one tall order.
Ambitious, nuanced and brimful of Lake Country atmosphere—Edwards always gives top value—but cluttered with coincidences and some truly incredible revelations.