Private investigator Dylan Scott bites off rather more than he would like to chew when he takes on the task of findng out what happpened to Anita Chapman a gorgeous Lancashire lass who vanished years before. The search takes Dylan to Dawson's Clough, a town in the back of beyond where the men like to speak their minds and the beer is unpredictable. We are introduced to an array of characters all of whom are lightly but vividly sketched. And whilst the search goes on we gradually learn more about Dylan's wife Bev and his zany mother who is outstaying her welcome at his house. In time Bev becomes reluctantly involved in the search and in doing so allows the reader to get to know the hero from a new viewpoint - and become very worried for Bev's safety.
This is a racily told story, and in the typical British detective mould where the tension is gradually cranked up. There are no gruesome passages, no forensic analyses, no offloading of boring information onto the reader. This is a book based on characters and the way in which people betray themselves. The reader is drawn into Dylan's investigative adventure and one feels rather like a parrot sitting on his shoulder and seeing everything from his view. But at the end we gain other viewpoints and there are not one, but two twists in the tale, making for a highly satisfying read.
I was very much drawn in by the warmth and humanity running through this story, something which can be lacking in modern writing when a kind of brittle cleverness seems to be the writer's main concern.
Bring on the next Dylan adventure, I'm looking forward to reading it.