A tipsy conversation leads DI Harry Vicary’s team (Denial of Murder, 2015, etc.) to reopen a cold case.
Working undercover, DC Tom Ainsclough doesn’t look like Old Bill. So you could hardly blame Big Andy Cragg for cornering him in a local boozer and unloading a tale of carrying a body years ago out to Malpas Road, New Cross, to be buried in a shallow grave. But when Ainsclough carries the news back to the nick, Vicary decides to follow up on Cragg’s story. Next thing you know, DS Victor Swannell has six uniformed constables and a black and white springer spaniel out on Malpas Road looking for remains. They find them soon enough in an allotment run by Tony Vere, on a parcel Vere’s records show was farmed by “a geezer called Hill” who never seemed to grow anything and gave it up after a few months. Meantime, Cragg admits being offered the job of corpse disposal by “a geezer called ‘Chinese Geordie Davy.’ ” Ainsclough and Penny Yewdall are able to identify the body as that of Victoria Keynes, who disappeared years before after walking out on her husband, Elliot Woodhuyse. Woodhuyse turns out to be a dark horse, with plenty of disposable income with no clear source. But connecting Woodhuyse to Hill and Davy, and Victoria’s skeletal remains to any of the aforementioned geezers, takes patience, persistence, and lots of shoe leather.
Turnbull’s fast-paced procedural should appeal to fans of the dogged-determination puzzler.