This great crime tale in the P.I. Annie Raymond series see the detective back in Hull, working with people she'd much rather forget.
As with all Penny Grubb's fiction, there is much more going on than meets the eye at first. Annie is at once suspicious, as she is sent back to her old tramping ground and placed with a boss in whom she has little confidence, on a case that grows more complex by the page.
Using her usual consummate narrative skill, the author takes the reader on a journey into danger and doubt, where no one is exactly what they seem. As events become more hazardous, it grows increasingly important for Annie to determine who she can trust. And it seems that the answer is almost no one.
The characters, some familiar and others new to us, are all real people drawn with the skill and empathy of a true observer of humankind. They act from their natural responses to any given situation. False leads abound, enticing us toward errant conclusions, and just as the reader thinks the solution is clear, it is again muddied by events.
Penny Grubb knows how to pace a novel and this one moves with speed when it should. The denouement starts to build relatively early but the climax is as shocking as it is inevitable.
For me, this is the best of the series so far, and that is saying something for a running story that has always been crammed with fascinating characters, unforeseen events and pulse-quickening excitement. A great read and one I unhesitatingly recommend.