Synopsis: Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.
When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.
Kat’s Rating: 4/5
*If you plan to read this series in order, please do not continue to read this review as this is book 13 in the series and will inevitably contain spoilers*
Kat’s Review: I realised quite suddenly that with the newest Peter James nearly upon us I was actually a book behind. Then it dawned on me that the saga that was Sandy was no longer an issue so decided to dive right into the last book. We are introduced to Lorna Belling, a woman that is in an incredibly abusive relationship, but who is being offered another chance with another man to start over. Unfortunately she doesn’t get that chance and is found murdered…enter Roy Grace. From the off Roy seems a little unbalanced, however it totally makes sense as he is just getting closure after the death of Sandy his wife who disappeared many years before. However, he still has to face the shocking realisation (that came from the conclusion of the last book) in the form of his ten year old son Bruno who he has only just learnt about.
With all of these issues at hand, and loads of staff not being around (Glen Branson his trusty sidekick being one of them) he has a lot on his plate. Add to that his wife Cleo and son Noah, his personal life seems to be one big jumble of activity. Thankfully he has the help in the form of his colleague Guy Batchelor so he becomes the help rather than the main lead. However, it becomes clear pretty early on this will not be straightforward and the book itself leans heavily on the police procedural.
The story lines most interesting thread for me was Roy’s son Bruno. I think that the next book will hopefully explore this element of Roy’s life in greater detail as I feel like this is potentially a great contribution to revving up the series. That opinion to one side, this book was very much a ‘whodunnit’ and with Glen Branson not at Roy’s beck and call it lost a little bit of magic for me. In addition, I thought that Roy and Cleo weren’t right, it seemed to have lost some of the character strengths in replacement for the police heavy duties. The ending was somewhat of a mystery as there were a few questions that didn’t get answered and I thought were a bit odd, I can only hope these will be addressed in the next book. Overall it was a decent read and I really did enjoy it, but maybe at the cost of areas that were normally more enjoyable. A solid read, but I hope things get back on more of an even keel for the next book.