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Serpent Pool, The Hardcover – 8 Feb 2010
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'With evocative descriptions of everything from landscape to cocktail parties, expert plotting, an engaging protagonist and strongly delineated characters, 'The Serpent Pool' is old-fashioned, well-made crime fiction at its best, and the denouement will have you choking on your Kendal mint cake.' LAURA WILSON, THE GUARDIAN --The Guardian
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Hannah Scarlett has been sidelined by her publicity-courting senior officer and is in charge of the cold case unit in Cumbria Police. A double backwater you might think. The case which she begins to investigate is the death of Bethany Friend 6 years ago. Did she die in the Serpent Pool as a ritual suicide or was she murdered and if so by whom? Then is there any connection between her death and the death of a wealthy local man, and then the trail of death takes a personal turn for Hannah Scarlett and Daniel Kind. Just when Hannah is most confused between her competing feelings for Marc and Daniel.
The plot develops very quickly without extreme lurches of incredibility. In the last 20% of the book the dots are joined and Hannah sees the horrifying picture and the story builds to an exciting climax. I look forward to the next instalment in the lives of these folks in the Lake District's answer to Midsummer. That, I think will be 'The Hanging Wood' Hanging Wood, The (Lake District Mystery) (Lake District Mysteries)
From the opening chapter you are totally gripped by the characters in this tale, which has its usual wonderful sense of place that feature in all the novels in this series. Edwards gives you charactes who are sometimes hard to like but nonetheless you can't help but feel for them in this book as the methods of their killing are truly horrible.
Once again Hannah and Daniel gently skirt around each other and much as you want to see them getting together you know Edwards isn't going to do it at the expense of the story or the characters' personality traits. I also loved the way that Daniel's sister Louise was given more of a role and even though the ghastly Miranda was mentioned Edwards avoided the cliche of bringing her back into the mix.
Keep this up Martin Edwards - we're going to want a lot more!
. The tale makes pleasant reading with the characters progressing from earlier books in the series.
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