A former Customs and Police Officer, Andrew Hill is just putting the finishing touches to the first book in a crime series set in the New Forest, where he lived for 30 years. An avid reader across the crime genre and regular at Crimefest, he now lives in West Sussex and works in property.
I read the author’s debut novel ‘Dead Gone’ in the same year as Belinda Bauer’s ‘Rubbernecker’ and they were the two standout reads for me in 2014. I would assert that Luca has maintained that standard into this, his third Murphy and Rossi novel which speaks volumes about the high standards he sets himself.
When a high-profile potential Tory MP goes missing, DI Dave Murphy and DS Laura Rossi are assigned to the case. On face value it appears to be a simple missing-persons case; and the ‘powers that be’ would like it wrapped up quickly and quietly. But as our two coppers and their team start to dig into the missing man’s past, it becomes apparent that there is a dark and disturbing side to him.
As our pair try to piece together what’s happened, a bigger picture comes into focus, and one that reveals dark questions that need answering.
What’s the connection between a man who was jailed for a murder where no body was found?
Who is convinced that his child has gone missing, yet there’s no evidence of that child existing?
What’s the significance of the red-brick Bullingdon Club and a flat in ‘student-land’?
And is Rossi’s elder brother involved?
As the body count increases, it’s obvious that someone has set upon a course of revenge, and of retribution; and so Murphy and Rossi race to bring a killer to justice before they can strike again.
Liverpool is at the heart of the author’s books and appears as a character itself. The narrative twists and turns you around the city, from the Mersey to Crosby, Croxteth to the Liver Building revealing the author’s love for his home town, and the backdrop to this tense thriller.
Then She Was Gone is filling, full of flavour, rich in detail and analogously as satisfying as that local delicacy - a big bowl of Scouse.