I read somewhere that mysteries are considered brain teasers. Well this goes right to the top of the pile because till the end you are wondering where you are going, with whom you are going, and with whom are you going to end up with. I was wrong on every count and this added to the enjoyment of this story.
The book is a huge tome of a book and made for uncomfortable reading in bed. This is my only grouse but how does one get around that.
The story starts also in a very confused manner. We have a horrible account of an abduction and murder of a toddler by three very young boys. His seemingly absolutely reason-less abduction and his horrific death made you want to scream with anger at our entire social system that would bring up three boys to this stance of absolute inhumanity, cruelty and the worst of all absolute indifference.
We then have running parallel to this story the murder of a young woman in a lonely cemetery. We have clues, we have blood stained clothes, the actual implement used to kill the woman, we have suspects and I still could not get the connection with the two murders (toddler's murder had taken place so many years before).
We have the dapper Inspector Lynley who is tentatively returning to active duty after the senseless murder of his wife and who is finding it difficult to come to grips with police life and how everyone seems to be tip toeing around him. We have the aggressive new Inspector who is on trial Isabelle Ardery trying to cope with a drinking problem, an ex husband and custody issues and the entire police force who look at her with disdain firstly as a woman Inspector and secondly as one who is not able to even come close to the likes of Inspector Lynley. That Lynley has to work under her is also a point that is not very popular with the police force and our Isabelle likes to make sure that everyone knows who is the boss.
That Isabelle steamrolls everyone in her path in her pursuit of the truth, of the murderer without thinking of the reputation of the Met which is something of paramount importance to her superiors puts her in the line of fire constantly. Apart from the murder, the story of Isabelle was very interesting reading. It formed for me an integral part of the story because it brings Lynley and Isabelle together as not just professional partners and this was a surprise as it seemed so out of character for Lynley! a bit disappointed I was in him....... To get back to the series I wonder how Isabelle Ardery is going to feature in the next book?????
Getting back to the actual murder (!) we have Barbara Havers our very rough and top cop battling it out, not following orders from the top and generally acting true to form but coming out tops with the goods.
I was sorry this book ended but now I must find out what are the sequels for this one. I am sure it will be available in Melbourne as this author is very popular in Australia. Last minute shopping of stuff to take with me. It is always food - it would seem my children are starving in Australia!