She looked like she’d drifted off to sleep, curled up in her white dress, blonde hair floating in the breeze. They called it the Angel Murder.
Eighteen-year-old Angelica Brock is found dead at a local beauty spot, dressed in a pure white nightgown, her white-blonde hair arranged around her. For years her death is a mystery, her killer the one who got away for a whole generation of police.
For DS Gaby Darin, it’s not just any cold case – the victim is intimately linked to someone close to her, and emotions are high. But just as the team finds a breakthrough clue on Angelica’s nightdress, another case crashes into the station. Could they be linked? After all this time, can Gaby finally discover what really happened to Angelica?
There was a lot that I really enjoyed about this novel – the setting was great, the main character was believable and interesting, the plot was intriguing and well-constructed.
The idea of a cold case, where the victim is personally connected to the team working on the murder, works very well, and adds a depth to the narrative. The pace is good, too, after a bit of a slow start, and everything moves along at a steady rate, keeping the reader interested and engaged.
That said, there were some aspects of the story that I didn’t enjoy quite so much. The pace was slow to begin with (although things did get better). This is the third book in the series, and while it can be read as a standalone, I feel I would have got more out of it if I had read the first two and had been more familiar with the characters’ backgrounds. And I was quite irritated by Bates’ wife Kate’s attitude to the investigation and the hours he puts in – in the circumstances, it seemed quite out of order and that did spoil things for me a bit.
So, overall, this was okay and there were definitely aspects of the story I enjoyed. But it did just miss the mark a bit for me.
It’s always hard to write mystery books in a series (as you know from me) but I do try to introduce the characters again. Pacing is a formidable problem.
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I think it can be one of the hardest things to get right. I actually stopped reading a book this week that was one in a series because I couldn’t get my head around the detective’s back story which was fundamental to the way he behaved. Really disappointing.
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