Library Journal Review
This fifth "Grand & Batchelor" mystery (after The Island) has Victorian-era "private enquiry agents" Matthew Grand and James Batchelor deeply embedded in the muddy environs of the Thames. After Emilia, the wife of timber merchant Selwyn Byng, goes missing, he receives a note demanding ransom and no police involvement. He calls in the duo when he receives a package containing a finger with Emilia's ring on it. Then more gruesome body parts are seen bobbing around in the Thames. The enquiry agents are surrounded by a host of quirky characters. While there are macabre elements here and lots of 19th-century detail, everything seems filtered through a comic lens, and Grand and Batchelor can seem like a double act, appearing between engagements at the Hippodrome. VERDICT If you can imagine Dickens's Our Mutual Friend as adapted by Gilbert and Sullivan, you have the gist of this medley of mystery and comedy that proves there are still small treasures to be unearthed by mudlarks (river scavengers) in the debris found along the Thames.-Bob Lunn, Kansas City, MO © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
In 2006, novelist David Lockman, the focus of Cross's outstanding fifth mystery featuring forensic psychologist Kate Hanson (after 2017's Something Evil Comes), was convicted of the murder of 30-year-old Della Harrington. Ten years later, his appeal to have the verdict overturned for insufficient evidence is granted, and the case is assigned to the city of Birmingham's Unsolved Crime Unit. Kate's job is to reinterview surviving witnesses, profile the killer based on a reexamination of the crime scene and forensic evidence, and find new leads that may have escaped the original police officers, who soon settled on Lockman as their prime suspect. She and her team discover that key witnesses weren't completely honest for a variety of reasons, including covering up unsavory wrongdoings of their own. Lockland's accusation of wrongful conviction against the police department ratchets up the pressure. Cross, herself a forensic psychologist, plays fair with the reader right up to the surprising conclusion. Agatha Christie fans will be enthralled. Agent: Camilla Wray, Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency (U.K.). (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.