Children are vanishing in the town of Shipcott and local Policeman Jonas Holly vows to save them, even though he’s just returned to his job following a personal tragedy.
Belinda Bauer’s third novel returns to the community featured in the previous books and Steven Lamb, the kid from Blacklands, once again takes centre stage.
Lamb knows some of the missing children but he is reluctant to trust the local policeman and even conveys those fears to the city cops brought in to solve the case. Meanwhile he is experiencing his first love and inside he knows that he is slowly becoming a man so feels that he must stand up for his beliefs.
Will Steven once again triumph in the face of extreme adversity?
This is another excellent yarn from the CWA Gold Dagger award winning author. She has created a sleepy little town that harbours many dark secrets and features some fantastic characters. From the wonderfully complicated Holly and the determined teenager Steven, the insecure DI Reynolds and his colleagues, each character is fully rounded enriching the overall feel of the tale.
To fully enjoy this I’d recommend that you read the previous books, Blacklands and Darkside (see reviews elsewhere here), especially Darkside as it’s essential to understand Jonas Holly. The small town policeman is one of the best characters in recent crime fiction, tortured but no stereotypical alky, he seems to understand the perpetrator of the crime while retaining an air of menace himself.
Captivating, realistic and poignant, I can’t wait for my next visit to Shipcott.
If you haven’t read Bauer then what are you waiting for?
Ric’s Rating: 89%