This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Debs Carr
Kate Rokesmith walked with her four year old son to the nearby river two days before the Prince and Princess of Wales married in July 1981, and soon afterwards her lifeless body is discovered. Kate's murder ends up effecting several people’s lives for decades afterwards. Her son, who after his mother's murder had been discovered playing quietly by a town monument, was placed by his distant father into a private boarding school before he moved away, never pressing charges for Kate's murder. Stella Darnell is the daughter of the detective, Terry, who never managed to solve this crime that haunted him until his unexpected death in 2011. Terry died still determined to discover who could have killed Kate all those years before. He has always been caught up with his work, and when Stella sorts through his belongings after his death, she comes across his case files and ends up trying to put the pieces together and track Kate Rokesmith’s murder for herself.
Stella has a cleaning company, she’s good at what she does and is very focused on her business. She ends up employing, Michael, a quiet, awkward man who she can’t quite fathom out, but he’s excellent at his job and so she keeps him on. She is also trying to move on from her ex-boyfriend who isn’t ready for their relationship to end, and when Stella realizes she’s being stalked by someone, she isn’t exactly sure who the culprit can be. Slowly, as she delves deeper into her father’s files and his past, she starts to learn more about the man who she loved but resented for his lack of parenting skills. And as more of Kate’s past and that of those who knew her is revealed, the pace of the story increases and it ends up becoming a race against time.
I was intrigued by the beginning of this book. Then, as the story moved on to Terry, staking out a case, I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it that much. However, I kept reading and ended up desperately wanting to know who could have killed Kate, and if Stella would ever find out who was behind the murder. Stella’s father dies during the winter and the stark, cold days help to give this story an even more chilling feel. Although none of the characters in the book were particularly appealing, it didn’t seem to matter. The lead up to the dramatic climax was fast-paced and exciting, and despite my earlier misgivings I ended up thoroughly enjoying this book.
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