DCI George Hennessey and his sergeant, Somerled Yellich (Deathtrap, 2000, etc.), team up once more to solve a string of long-buried murders in the ancient city of York.
Both detectives have a healthy respect for family life. Hennessey ends each evening sitting in the garden he planted for Jennifer, his late wife, recounting their son’s latest successes, while Yellich lies with his beloved Sara worrying what the future holds for their mentally challenged 12-year-old. So they’re especially disturbed by the murders of Muriel Bradbury (whose skeleton turns up after 20 years under a pile of bricks) and Janet Frost (bashed over the head in one of York’s medieval snickelways), along with the disappearance of Katie Ilford. All three had stormy relations with their husbands, and all three husbands rapidly found solace in the arms of Sandra Picardie. Gerald Bradbury and Archibald Frost had the ill judgment to marry Sandra only to see their trophy wife decamp when business went sour. Tommy Ilford is smart enough to leave their domestic arrangements more informal. Besides, there’s always work for a good fence, and he plans to supplement the income from his chop shop with a neat bit of larceny—unless York’s finest gets there first.
Why does Turnbull assume nobody will read more that one of his books? His near-verbatim recap of his heroes’ private ghosts detracts from an otherwise entertaining procedural.