Ted Darling is my favourite fictional detective. I read this one during a time when my husband was in hospital having surgery and I found that reading about Ted Darling and his partner Trev was comforting and reassuring which might sound like a very odd thing to write about a crime fiction novel but I also knew that it would be so totally absorbing that it would take my mind off events. I also know that the author is such a stickler for writing about the correct procedure within the police force, that it could be trusted to portray the facts about police work and not have any wild maverick officers going against the rule book and doing their own thing regardless of how an investigation should be done to obtain a conviction. That would have been most unsettling!
Nothing cosy and comforting about the crimes being committed in this police procedural novel though.
A series of young teenage boys are being abducted and later found in a distressed condition and it’s clear that they’ve all been through a terrible ordeal at the hands of someone clearly insane. They’re all unable to speak about what’s happened to them and recite different passages from the bible continuously. Only one member of DCI Darling’s team of detectives, Maurice, is apparently able to get through to them in any way. It’s a very slow process and Maurice uses every bit of his empathetic skills trying to draw them out in an effort to discover who is behind the attacks.
Ted Darling is hampered by his role as DCI and the desk bound work his job now entails but is in charge of the investigation into the crimes and directs his officers in his usual methodical and logical way. His loving home situation with his partner Trev and his martial arts training just about keep him sane and on an even keel.
The cuts in police budgets all over the nation leave him facing difficult decisions to make concerning his team of detectives.
Brilliantly written and well researched as usual. These novels just get better and better and the author has honed her craft to exceptional levels. Despite now living in France L M Krier also keeps up to date with current problem issues in the U.K. Homelessness, the lack of mental health provision for teenagers and the shortage of police officers amongst other things.
Although it’s advisable to read the whole series. This book could be read as a stand alone
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