For writers and readers of mystery

“I haven’t anything to offer. There isn’t any help. We are all alone, all of us from the moment of birth until we die. Our past is our present and our future. We have to live with ourselves until there isn’t any more time left. If you want salvation look to yourself. There’s nowhere else to look.”

P D James, Shroud for a Nightingale

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Recent Review

‘The Crooked Shore’ by Martin Edwards
Published by Allison & Busby,
22 July 2021.  
ISBN: 978-0-74902786-5 (HB)

The question
‘So, you want to know why I killed Ramona Smith?
Is the opening line and is addressed to DCI Hannah Scarlett. But who is asking the question?

DCI Hannah Scarlett is just back from a conference in London where she had presented a paper on the challenge of leading cold case reviews. She is still surprised to find herself now described as an expert in solving unsolved crimes.

When Kit Gleadall, the new Police and Crime Commissioner asks Hannah to look into the twenty-one- year-old case of the disappearance of Ramona Smith from Bowness, it takes her a while to bring the case to mind. Recollection brings back memories of the investigating officer Ben Kind who had a prime suspect who he was convinced was guilty. Although the body of Ramona Smith was never found the prime suspect was charged and tried for the murder. He was found not guilty, but eventually committed suicide.  Following another death, the case has resurfaced.  

Kingsley Melton is the manager of Strandbeck Manor, a period house that has been turned into luxury apartments.  Taking his ease on the shoreline, named The Crooked Shore, Kingsley is shocked to see Logan Prentice jog past him. Logan Prentice who Kingsley suspects of evil deeds.

As Hannah begins re-interviewing the people who were investigated in the original case, those that are still alive that is, she ponders on Ben Kind – a very shrewd cop, who she had liked very much but who had sadly subsequently been killed in a hit and run.  These pondering naturally take her to his son Daniel Kind, ex TV historian who Hannah had been dating. But she had not seen him for six weeks as he had been travelling abroad promoting his new book. Whilst it had been wonderful to see him again things seemed different. Maybe, he had someone else.

Narrated in the third person by Kingsley Melton and Hannah Scarlett, there are many strands to this story, which are skilfully drawn together. Like many good stories the clues lie in the past.  The Crooked Shore is one of the best books I have read in along time.  Just when you think you know it all, there is a sudden jaw-dropping twist that I most certainly didn’t see coming. Most highly recommended as a book not to be missed.
——
Reviewer; Lizzie Sirett

Signed first editions available from Goldboro Books