Jennifer Palmer has read crime fiction since her teenage years & enjoys reviewing within the many sub-genres that now exist; as a historian who lectures on real life historical mysteries she particularly appreciates historical cime fiction.
The story begins with the suicide of a prominent MP in a London hotel. His funeral is quickly followed by the kidnapping of his two year old grandson, Samuel, (whom the MP had never met) from a London street.
The case is assigned to Detective Inspector Dan Carter and Detective Constable Ebony Willis, both tenacious investigators. These detectives have private lives that do not impinge on the investigation (which is refreshing) and a camaraderie that transcends their different life styles and backgrounds.
They home in on a Cornish connection speedily and drive to Penhaligon. The dead man, Jeremy Forbes-Wright, had owned a house in Penhaligon. They found that a number of Cornish people from the village had gone to the funeral 'to pay their respects' despite preferring a Cornwall not tainted by outsiders. Pressure was being put on Toby, the estranged son of Jeremy, to sell the house to a local consortium.
The focus of events is always on the hope that Samuel is still alive and can be rescued despite the avalanche of other suspected illegal activities that falls on the investigation. The pressure of past traumas lies heavily across the landscape. There is a story about the young woman who was raped in 2000 and still lives in the village. A nucleus of others also remains in the local area and the detectives strive to find out exactly what rotten secrets from their childhoods contaminate these people. As DI Carter puts it - the past has caused a boil which is rising to a head and to an explosion of pus. He hopes that this will loosen tongues and help him to find Samuel alive. The story gradually rises to the sort of explosive climax for which Carter hoped!
Thus is certainly a page turner!