Anonymous postcards trigger an investigation reaching far beyond the York address to which they were directed.
The tale that pleasant, efficient Julia Bartlem tells detective Reginald Webster is odd enough. Four picture postcards of Scarborough have arrived at the drop-in center where she volunteers, each bearing a foreign word for “murder” and the Ordnance Survey map number for the same location. But the following days bring information that’s depressingly familiar: Skeletal remains are found at the site, and a computer-generated image is matched to a missing person. James Wenlock had been a certified accountant. His unhappy wife had reason to do him harm. So did his mistress’s angry, violent husband. And Shane Bond has a history of getting even with his wife’s lovers. Pretty soon, he’s in the frame for both the Wenlock murder and the killing of Henry Hall, who was involved with his first wife, Gloria. The trouble is that although Bond cops readily to one crime, he insists he has nothing to do with the other. More bodies turn up as the scene of the crime shifts from York to the open countryside and beyond. DCI George Hennessey (Aftermath, 2011, etc.) must rely on his team of Webster, Pharoah, Ventnor and Yellich to show their characteristic persistence in tracking a killer whose crimes are as devious as they are far-flung.
Although the Hennessey team’s personal lives remain tediously familiar, their professional skills are worth your time.