DI Andy Horton (Undercurrent,
2013, etc.) continues to complicate his job at the Portsmouth CID by probing
his mother’s long-ago disappearance.
Horton’s ticked off when his boss,
DCI Lorraine Bliss, assigns him a missing person case. He figures private
investigator Jasper Kenton has just gone off on his own, maybe with a lady
friend, maybe with a client’s money, and the only reason Bliss has her frosty
knickers in a knot is that she’s BFFs with Kenton’s business partner, Eunice
Swallows. Horton’s perfectly plausible theory is scotched when Kenton’s body
turns up near the Isle of Wight’s Northwood Abbey on a spot of beach owned by
Lord Richard Eames, a political powerhouse who surely had some idea why
Jennifer Horton vanished many years ago, leaving 10-year-old Andy behind. Eames
admits knowing Jennifer at the London School of Economics but refuses to talk
about his connection with the radical student group she may have belonged to.
Horton can barely hide his distrust of Eames, who uses his connections to limit
the scope of the Kenton investigation. Then Horton puts his job in peril by
concealing his own encounter with beachcomber Wyndham Lomas on Eames’ property
the day before Kenton’s death. Instead, he focuses on Kenton’s dealings with
his clients, especially Thelma Veerman, who hired him to keep tabs on her
husband, Brett, an ophthalmic surgeon with quite a female following. Horton
also looks into Kenton’s strained relationship with his sister and his peculiar
purchase of a boat right before his death. But all roads keep leading back to
Eames, the man he most and least wants to investigate.
Here’s hoping Horton gets the goods on Eames soon so that Rowson can go back to the procedural puzzlers she does so well.