I have been reading Martin's Jim Stringer books since his very first, and they are entertaining and nicely written, full of good period atmosphere and have some excellent characters- though oddly, I have never quite warmed to Stringer himself, though his wife is a great personality, and is Stringer's fiery 'Chief'. Perhaps it is because it is written in the first person (never easy) Stringer does not say much about himself or how he looks?
Still, I like his books and snap them up. This one is perfectly readable, ticks most of the boxes..but the plot is very ill-defined. I was left not wholly convinced about the setting up of the situation, and his attempts to create a series of potentially threatening characters all visiting this sunny country station and village, is not really very gripping and it meanders.
I felt that Martin needed to take a hold of the plot and tighten it all up, inject some more pace and genuine tension into it, and drive everything forwards.
However, it is not a failure by any means, and I would suggest that it is worth reading, but perhaps not as a starting point in the Jim Stringer series.