A double murder is discovered in Spalding some days after it takes place.
The victims are Tina Brackenbury, the foster mother of Grace Winter, a ten-year-old who escapes the killer because she is staying her friend Chloe Hebblewhite’s house at the time, and Tina’s infant daughter. Enquiries by the police and social services reveal that some four years previously Grace was the sole survivor of the horrific massacre of her mother, grandparents and sister at Brocklesby Farm in North Lincolnshire, a crime for which her uncle Tristram Arkwright is currently serving a whole-life tariff.
Why did Amy Winter, Grace’s adoptive mother, send her to live with a foster parent? Is it a coincidence that both of Grace’s families have now been brutally killed? And is it possible that Grace’s uncle, a notorious con-man, has found a way to contact her from his maximum security cell?
DI Yates and his team face a series of apparently impenetrable conundrums.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
This is a belting read. I love reading a book that mentions places where I have lived and this did just that. Tristram Arkwright was serving time in HMP Wakefield in West Yorkshire, not that I have seen the inside of the place but I use to walk past it every day. It holds some pretty grim people in there so the perfect place for this character. He is a manipulating man who knows how to play to system and any do-gooder that happen to feel sorry for him. He is serving time for murdering his entire family, with the exception of his six-year-old niece Grace.
Four years on Grace’s foster family are murdered while she is staying at a friend’s house. OMG, I thought just how much can one little girl go through, well that was until I met Grace. This child scared the heebie-jeebies out of me, returning causally home with her edgy friend Chloe, the first she asks is if she can she the bodies on her ‘mum’ Tina Blackenbury and Tina’s baby daughter. I thought, she must be in shock surely but this little girl likes to be centre stage and definitely knows how to hold everyone’s attention.
From the very first page I was totally involved with every character in this story and loved all of the descriptions of what they looked like and how they dressed, it made it so much easier to place them as people in my mind than just character names. There are quite a few characters but as the story involved two murders four years apart and from different areas there had to be.
One of the things I loved was the more in-depth look into how police interview children whether as a witness or as a suspect. I was totally fascinated by it all. It showed just how much the police teams hands are tied. The story was brilliant, staying mainly with Grace as seen by the people who were looking after her.
Although this is book six in the DI Tim Yates series I felt that I was more than comfortable having not read the previous five books. This is quite an independent story from beginning to end. I took to both DI Yates and DS Juliet Armstrong straight away. I particularly liked Juliet. She came across as a competent and yet compassionate officer. Not someone to have the wool pulled over her eyes though and at times it took more than a little mentally restraint to hold back.
A brilliant story, one of my favourites of the year.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I was born in Lincolnshire and grew up in the market town of Spalding. Though I now live in the rugged landscape of the Pennines, with their heather moors, stone walls and the bubbling cries of curlews in the springtime, I shall never lose my love of the Fens, with their lovely, evocative place names like Quadring Eaudyke and Gedney Drove End and their deep dykes full of water wildlife, like herons, frogs and dragonflies. There the skyscapes are huge and powerful, dwarfing humans and reminding them of their insignificance in the scheme of things. I decided to use the Fenlands as the setting for my novels, where Detective Inspector Yates has a heron’s eye for detail and a keen understanding of the ways and minds of the inhabitants of the area. My first novel, In the Family, published by SALT on 15th November 2012, finds D.I. Yates and his team uncovering more than a body or two