The death of a fellow officer sends DCI Alan Banks (Bad Boy, 2010, etc.) looking for secrets in every corner of Eastvale and eventually as far afield as Estonia.
Why would someone track recently widowed DI Bill Quinn to a police convalescent center and shoot an arrow into his chest? Banks, convinced that the murder must have to do with one of Quinn’s old cases, isn’t sure which case holds the key until a second murder provides the clue. Mihkel Lepikson, a freelance journalist from the Estonian town of Tallinn, bonded with Quinn six years ago when they both investigated the disappearance of Rachel Hewitt, a bridesmaid who got separated from the rest of her hen party during a pub crawl in Tallinn and was never seen again. Now the reporter is dead, evidently tortured and drowned in a building that’s most recently been used to warehouse the immigrants brought into the country to work for the substandard wages Roderick Flinders’ employment agency pays and then railroaded into dead-end loans by obliging shark Warren Corrigan. Most disturbing of all for Banks, however, is that he’s sent to Estonia not with DI Annie Cabbot, just returned from her own long convalescence, but with Inspector Joanna Passero of Professional Standards, who’s been attached to the investigation to determine whether Bill Quinn might have been a bent copper. Robinson cuts back and forth between Banks and Passero’s adventures in Estonia and Annie’s inquiries back home. The result is a patient unraveling of sad but unsurprising developments that provide Rachel’s parents with that most overrated of all aspects of justice: closure.
The tale unfolds realistically but uncompellingly, with Banks the only truly memorable character this time around.