The suburban area of Bankhill is a seemingly quiet, affluent area, yet Detective Chief Inspector Sheldon Hunter finds his perceptions of this ‘tamed arcadia’ dramatically changed as he is drawn into the secrecy and deception surrounding the prominent Mannering family. As a child, Daisy Donovan followed her mother from country to country in her pursuit of an acting career. Yet her mother’s best friend, Floy Mannering, always provided a sense of security and care for the young girl. With her mother living in Portugal, Daisy moves into Floy’s home, the grand ancestral house of Fairmead. Wealthy, charming and caring, Floy looks after Daisy amongst her other friends and family. This provokes the need in Daisy to protect the older woman and leads her to resent the orphaned Edward Skinner’s claims on the Mannering family. Yet how far will Daisy go to protect Floy? The sudden death of a lover sparks more manipulation, suspicion, and jealousy than is typical at Fairmead -- Hunter grudgingly sorts through his developing allegiances to solve a murder. But has Hunter been deceived himself, his vision blurred by this arcadian romance, sending him in every direction but the correct one?
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The wealthy and privileged also have their problems ...and lies and secrets... as DCI Hunter discovers. Floy Mannering is rich and elderly. She's being taken care of by the daughter of her best friend. Daisy feels a need to protect Floy at all costs from the Skinner family. A murder occurs and Hunter finds himself sorting through the lies and secrets, much like sorting through the trash to get to the treasure. Finding himself personally involved leads in a wrong direction ... who can he trust? Time is running out and he needs to get this case solved. This is a well-put-together mystery with a few lovely characters, as well as a few not-so-lovely. I really enjoy the descriptive narrative of the countryside ... a peek at how the elite lives. DCI Hunter is a great character; I'm happy to see him again in this series. Although the second one, this book does well as a stand-alone. I would like to thank the author / Endeavour Press / Netgalley who provided a digital copy. All opinions expressed are my own.