An anonymous murder victim and a missing journalist: can Lesley uncover the truth?
DCI Lesley Clarke has too many suspects to choose from when a wealthy lawyer and her unidentified companion are found brutally murdered in a Sandbanks mansion.
Was it the victim’s ex-husband, resentful at her new lifestyle? Her housekeeper, who found the bodies? Or could it have been a murder-suicide?
Lesley and her team must unravel the evidence and find the real killer, while also investigating the disappearance of local journalist Sadie Dawes. Did Sadie go on planned leave, as her manager insists, or did she get too close to the truth about DCI Mackie’s death? Can Lesley’s old colleague Zoe Finch find out more?
Ok, so, I read this book in 2 hours. I was invested.
This book is book 5 in the series, so the characters are already well established but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn new things about them. This book also sees a dual plotline. We have the current murders and then we have the ongoing suspicions around DCI Mackie AND the disappearance of a journalist to contend with,
With the dual plotline the characters get cut into different teams. On one side you have Dennis, Tina, and newcomer DC Stanley Brown. On the other side you have DCI Lesley and Mike. It was interesting to see the two teams work because it offered a different perspective of the characters and allowed me to see them functioning under different circumstances. It was another chance to know them on a deeper level.
I didn’t get the DCI Mackie conclusion that I wanted. The one I had hoped to get in this book in my review of book 4, but I do feel like we are closing in on what happened and how he actually died. It is clear that the story surrounding him is being built up for optimum shock reveal and I am here for that. I just worry that the reveal will take so long that it’ll fall flat.
Surrounding the plot of DCI Mackie we have Dennis, who, it is clear to everyone, is struggling mentally. It’s an interesting concept to put the character through because he’s such a stoic person who is set in his ways and loves the job. To see him go through something like this makes his character easier to understand but also makes his character more complex. Less of a one trick pony and more of a layered onion.
Also surrounding the DCI Mackie plot we have Lesley’s suspicions. They are interesting because Lesley of course, is an outsider to who DCI Mackie is and so she is able to look at the incident with fresh eyes and without any bias. The suspicions that are realised in this book point to her natural talent of uncovering lies and spotting the truths within the secrets.
Because of all the emphasis surrounding the DCI Mackie plot, I did feel that the main plot took a back seat. While it was interesting, I wasn’t WOW’ed by it. The plot was interesting enough, but it concluded in one of my least favourite crime reveals. So, I was a little disappointed in that.
There is a lot of room for certain characters to pick many avenues to go down. Meaning, I don’t know which way they will lean towards. Obviously, the plot is pushing them a certain way, but I can never be sure if that’s a red herring or not. I do hope that the DCI Mackie conclusion will match the hype that’s been building it up.
This book also pushes away some uncertainty on where Lesley stands in Dorset and where her future lies which was sorely needed. I think even though the first 4 books of this series have been good, there was uncertainty surrounding her character and as she had one foot in Dorset and one in Birmingham, so did I as the reader.
I started this book series with an impulse 99p. I bought books 2-6 after feeling elated at reading the first book. This hasn’t been a decision I have regretted. I’d describe this book and the series as ‘light crime’, meaning it’s easy to read, it’s not so dark and has no thriller elements. It’s easy to read quickly and is a good escape from reality.
There is only one book left for me to read as book 7 isn’t released till February 2023. There are many things I hope for with this series and it is a series that I am now committed to continuing. I still have high hopes for what is to come.
I give this book: ✨✨✨✨✨