Friday, October 26, 2018

Death by a Dead Man's Hand (DI Tremayne #5), by Phillip Strang

Phillip Strang, April 2018

Eighteen years ago, Ethan Mitchell killed his brother Martin, in a dispute about the gold bars they'd stolen. Now, after seventeen years in prison, Ethan is out, home in Salisbury, and he's gotten a note asking him to come to St. Mark's Church.

The note is signed, or appears to be, by his dead brother, Martin.

When Ethan goes to this meeting, he is shot and killed. The note in his pocket explains why he was there, and but isn't much of a clue for DI Tremayne, who was the arresting officer eighteen years ago, and saw Martin's dead body for himself.

Ethan wasn't shot by a dead man, but it had to be someone who knew both Ethan and Martin well enough to fool the not particularly superstitious Ethan. And with Martin's death once more of interest, it also raises the question of twenty missing gold bars. The brothers had stolen a shipment of forty gold bars; twenty were in the trunk of their car when Ethan was arrested. The other twenty have never been found.

Eighteen years ago when he arrested Ethan, Tremayne was a junior officer, with a boss a lot more willing to let unanswered questions lie, if he could make an arrest and make it stick. Now, a DI himself and with legitimate grounds to reopen the case, Tremayne is determined to solve the entire case. Someone knows where the gold is--and it never seemed likely that Ethan and Martin had masterminded the gold heist themselves.

Tremayne and Yarwood have to pick their way through the lives of the mostly-harmless, but also mostly not very impressive, Mitchell clan, as well as the putative owner of the gold, Selwyn Cosford, a local man of modest beginnings who is now an investment and tv phenom, as well as others in Salisbury and the nearby village of Emberly. This is, once again, a solid police procedural with an interesting mystery, good characters, and ongoing character development for Tremayne, Yarwood, and even Superintendent Moulton.

Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the author, and am reviewing it voluntarily.