This typically English crime thriller is set in northern moors in the village of Exmoor as Belinda Bauer’s first book Blacklands.
The style is light on gore, without sacrificing atmosphere with plenty of English humour.
The narrative contains many characters, describes English rural life very well and people’s behaviour. The plotline moves fast and compels the reader to read on in an attempt to find out what happens next.
The author has created a strong, yet diverse bunch of characters, all set in a village where everyone knows everyone else and their secrets.
Jonas Holly, the village “bobby”, gives up his career to look after his wife Lucy, suffering from multiple sclerosis, but finds himself in a professionally awkward position when a series of shocking murders take place and his investigating inspector orders him to just stand guard in the front of the house of the first murder.
Inspector Marvel, with all the help available to him in the form of forensic experts, cannot solve any of the murders, and becomes more devoted to alcohol than before. Ultimately, he too is murdered.
At the end, the reader starts to surmise who the serial murderer may be, although the author never provides a strong clue, except in the middle of the narrative in a short sentence uttered by the forensic pathologist in charge of the laboratory on the phone to inspector Marvel.
At the end of the book there is a unique feature in that several pages are devoted to discussion, with questions presumably for like-minded readers to express their thoughts and theories about this interesting, and very English crime thriller.