An idyllic island holds a dark secret . . . - On a hot August day in 1994, 76 holidaymakers travel to an island off the North Norfolk coast. Only 75 return alive – a young man is murdered, the case left unsolved. Twenty years later, using state-of-the-art forensics, the DNA results of a bloodsoaked towel prompts DI Peter Shaw to summon all 75 original suspects to a mass screening, but one of them, the beautiful Marianne Osbourne, is found dead in her bed. Is there a link to the 1994 murder? DI Shaw and DS ...
An idyllic island holds a dark secret . . . - On a hot August day in 1994, 76 holidaymakers travel to an island off the North Norfolk coast. Only 75 return alive – a young man is murdered, the case left unsolved. Twenty years later, using state-of-the-art forensics, the DNA results of a bloodsoaked towel prompts DI Peter Shaw to summon all 75 original suspects to a mass screening, but one of them, the beautiful Marianne Osbourne, is found dead in her bed. Is there a link to the 1994 murder? DI Shaw and DS Valentine become immersed in the dark secrets of an isolated community.
Kelly’s masterful fourth procedural starring Det. Insp. Peter Shaw of the West Norfolk Constabulary (after 2011’s Death Toll) centers on a highly unusual cold case. In 1994, Shane White, a 20-year-old lifeguard, accompanied more than 70 people on a ferry to the island of East Hills, only to be fatally stabbed by one of them. At the time, Shaw and his team were unable to ID the killer. Advances in DNA analysis offer new hope, as the murderer may have left his or her skin cells on a towel marked with White’s blood. The surviving 66 suspects are to be re-interviewed and asked to supply a DNA sample. The cold case may have links with a warm one involving an apparent suicide. The intelligently developed lead must adjust to the loss of vision in one eye while navigating the treacherous shoals of office politics. Deft plotting and shrewdly drawn characters help make this the best installment to date. Agent: Faith Evans, Faith Evans Associates. (May)
For CID coppers Shaw and Valentine (Death Toll, 2011, etc.), an unsolved murder poisons the air 20 years later. Even after a cyanide pill has done its work, DI Peter Shaw, studying the still, pale face, can readily see how remarkably beautiful Marianne Osbourne had been. Now "bloodless as china," her face is an exact match for the white duvet that covers her. There's no note, but George Valentine, Peter's sergeant with 30 years on the job, tells the world that he knows a suicide when he sees one: Pills are pills, evidence is evidence. Peter takes his point, but certain emanations, vague yet stubborn, in the death room keep him from being persuaded. And of course he's right not to be. Soon enough, the evidence begins tilting in a different, entirely unexpected direction. Twenty years earlier, an excursion ferryboat that had deposited 75 passengers on an uninhabited pleasure island off the coast of Norfolk returned with only 74. Young lifeguard Shane White had been left behind, murdered, his unsolved death destined to become a famous cold case. How are the two fatalities connected? To begin with, Marianne had been one of the ferryboat's passengers. Other connections soon develop. Among the most intriguing and bedeviling of these to Shaw and Valentine is the sudden influx of death by cyanide pill. Not all the details of the complex investigation are equally compelling, but the quality of Kelly's prose and the ongoing upstairs-downstairs relationship between the two protagonists will propel readers past the dry spots.
Jim Kelly was born in 1957 and is the third son of a Scotland Yard detective. He studied geography at Sheffield University and attended Cambridge University as a press fellow at Wolfson College. He trained as a journalist on the Bedfordshire Times, and was Deputy News Editor of the Yorkshire Evening Press in York. He joined the Financial Times as a page editor, becoming tax correspondent, and finally education correspondent from 1997 to 2002. He was a director of the Community Rights Project. His first book, The Water Clock, was short listed for the John Creasey Award. He won a Dagger in 2006 for the Philip Dryden series. In 2011 he won the New Angle prize for literature.