Monday, April 6, 2020

Grave Passion (DCI Isaac Cook #12), by Phillip Strang

Phillip Strang, March 2020

Two teenagers out for an evening of teenage sex walk through a cemetery on the way to their destination, and just miss witnessing a murder--the murderer passes them, and they find a body lying on a grave. Despite their panic, they call the police.

DCI Isaac Cook and his team find themselves with a body with no ID, no really unique feature, and only her shoes are new enough that it might be possible to track down where they were purchased. But DS Wendy Gladstone is very good at that, and--she gets a list of names, of the purchasers who paid with credit cards. There are others who paid with cash, so no way to track those.

Meanwhile, the two teenagers, and their families, prove to be an interesting problem in themselves. The kids saw the murderer, and almost the murder; he might be after them. But the boy, Brad, comes from a very troubled family, and his sister, Janice, working as a prostitute, is murdered in her flat--by someone who wrapped the knife in a towel, and then showered afterwards in her bathroom. Oh, and didn't have sex with her first. This is very strange, and doesn't seem to obviously be an angry client.

DI Larry Hill goes back to the grave, talks to the groundskeeper, finds another grave where a young Asian woman was seen. Another clue leads them to a house in Holland Park, where a very cool, analytical man, who seems too strange to be irrelevant, but there's no evidence at all.

But more murders happen, and ties to a middle class brothel and to Canning Town, a neighborhood much rougher than Challis Street, keep popping up.

Larry has for the time being gotten a grip on his drinking and smoking. Wendy isn't letting her aging body end her career just yet, And Isaac Cook and his wife, Jenny, are about to have their first child. Jenny is doing what his previous loves haven't; dealing with the long and unreliable hours and the broken plans. Also, they're buying a house.

It's a complex and potentially dangerous case, with hints that the killer might have a background protected by the Official Secrets Act. We also see the regular characters continue to grow, develop, and reveal themselves.

Satisfying and enjoyable, as Strang always is. Recommended.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment