It took Michael Henderson 20 years to tell what he’d seen that night: four people—two tall men, a short man, and a woman who looked like a man—dragging a naked young woman through the field behind Mallard’s car depot to a shallow grave, where they bashed her over the head with a shovel and buried her. But the very last thing Henderson saw that night before bolting off home—one of the killers marking the grave with a piece of white brick—gives the York constabulary’s DCI George Hennessey and DS Somerled Yellich (After the Flood, 2002, etc.) the information they need to find that grave and three others just like it. As forensic pathologist Louise D’Acre does her best to identify the four sets of skeletal remains, Yellich and Hennessey review old missing-persons cases until they find four young women—all students at different colleges in York—whose disappearances had never before been linked. The best clue they have in their search is a tiny ballpoint pen hidden in the mouth of one victim. Forester, former owner of Soundings, Inc., gives them a list of people who’d received the promotional pens, including the staff of Ace of Spades, their landscapers, and Steps and Stairs, the cleaners. Dalton, the new owner, adds the name of Citroën mechanic Jeffrey Pinder. But it takes the steady hands of Hennessey and Yellich to bring to justice four killers who’d long since stopped worrying whether they’d gotten away with it.
Another first-rate procedural from no-nonsense Turnbull.