DI Andy Horton (Fatal Catch, 2015, etc.) faces two seaside murders with few leads.
A trip to Guernsey advances Andy’s search into his mother’s long-ago disappearance very little. But his visit with Violet Ducale at her exclusive and expensive nursing home does provide him some of the details of his foster parents’ life after his departure at adulthood and leads him to suspect it may have been no accident that he was placed with Bernard and Eileen Litchfield after his mother suddenly dropped off the map. Before he can explore these tantalizing morsels, Horton’s pulled into a case by his old friend Inspector John Guilbert of the Guernsey Police. The body of Evelyn Lyster, a well-to-do traveler with a Portsmouth address, is found aboard the Guernsey ferry. Horton offers to follow up at the Portsmouth end, but when he arrives home, he’s confronted with a second corpse, this time unidentified. DCS Uckfield, suffering a miserable head cold, wants Andy on this case as well. Although both investigations yield plenty of physical evidence, nobody can find any hint of a motive, even after the second corpse is identified as Peter Freedman, a former vagrant who’s now made a fortune teaching self-help courses. Why would anyone want to do away with these two solid, upper-middle-class citizens? That’s what Andy needs to know to help his congested boss clear these cases.
Finally balancing his obsession with the past and his current workload, Horton manages to mount a decent investigation and produce a sound, if somewhat unlikely, conclusion.