Monday, June 26, 2017

Blood On The Tongue by Stephen Booth

Winter is always a challenging time for the police in Edendale, Derbyshire.  The blizzards and chilling winds make the bleak landscapes and twisting roads even more difficult to traverse and investigate in.  But crime always goes on, regardless of the weather and the Edendale police have several cases in play.

A young woman is found buried in the snow.  At first it appears she just got tired and lay down and was killed by exposure but the post mortem reveals bruises that are evidence of a beating.  The case is reclassified as a murder and even more critically, it appears she had a young baby who is now missing.

Then a man's body is discovered when a snowplow hits it.  Again, it appears to be a murder and the police don't even know who he is.  His clothing shows a well-dressed man who should have been missed.  Why isn't someone looking for him?

Then another strange event distracts attention from the recent murders.  A woman has traveled to Derbyshire from Canada.  She identifies herself as the granddaughter of a military pilot who crashed his plane into the mountains during WW II.  All aboard were killed except for one Polish crew member and the pilot who supposedly survived only to vanish.  He is blamed for the wreck and his granddaughter has come to clear his name.  She is very determined but the police are already overwhelmed with work.  She tries to enlist Ben in her search but his superiors have already forbidden anyone to help with the police force already spread thin.

When the cases all start to look as if they are connected, the police scramble to find out what all three have in common.  Ben is the hometown boy who knows everyone and who is a town favorite.  But his superiors, including Diane Fry, see him as a man who is easily distracted from the orders he is given.  Will Ben's obstinate nature help to solve the crimes or is standard police procedure the way to go?

This is the third in the Cooper and Fry mystery series.  In this one, Diane has just gotten the promotion that everyone assumed would go to Ben and is now his boss.  This ratchets up the interplay between the two who come at every problem in a diametrically opposed fashion.  Readers of the series will enjoy this further case and the unfolding of the relationship between the two.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

No comments: