The first thing I can tell you is that I liked DI Simon Fenchurch from the start. He’s a roughly hewn character with a nose for police work whose exterior hides the pockets of vulnerability within. His life has been shaped by the disappearance of his daughter and he’s been unable to let go of the hope mentioned in the title ever since. And, yes, it is slowly driving the life from him.
When he enters a derelict building in the middle of London to check out the murder of a young woman of about his daughter’s age, his involvement in the case becomes more personal that it should be. Finding the killer becomes his new obsession and he’ll stop at nothing to get to the bottom of things.
The case isn’t simple from an operational point of view. The body was found on the boundary between two police forces and the City police are keen to get a slice of Fenchurch’s action. Conflicts arise within the force and none of those involved are keen to compromise.
With the help and hindrance of colleagues from the vice squad, Fenchurch pushes into the world of the sex trade and also into the greasy sleaze of the financial world.
The finding of another victim doubles Fenchurch’s efforts. With his perfectly drawn sidekick, Nelson, he drives the case forward with a passion that’s close to obsession.
As they crack open the case, they open doors to a darkness that’s even more sordid and disturbing than any of them could have imagined. The revelation about what has been going on sends shockwaves through Fenchurch as new and terribly sinister possibilities regarding the fate of his own child become clear.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Ed James’s new creation. The mix between the solving of the case and the detective’s personal life is balanced to perfection. The action scenes are fast and furious. The tension mounts nicely as the story unfolds and the wrapping up of the novel carries a weight that took me by surprise.
Fenchurch is a guy you’re going to want to get to know. That being the case, why not get on board and make his acquaintance right now so that when the second book is released very soon, you’ll have something rather special to look forward to.