I Know Your Secret (US). I guess that we’d all be frightened to hear those words. It happens to be worse in this case as the blackmailer knows exactly what secret is been hidden and can offer up enough information to prove it.
In this novel, the Major Crimes Team are overwhelmed by work. There’s the brutal and peculiar murder of a priest, nailed to the ground in the way the man he worshipped was attached to the cross; a wealthy landowner who is well-connected wants to catch his employee who has ripped him off; and there’s a rape investigation linked to a model and a porn film to sort out.
There’s a lot of tension in the squad as they go about their work. Former boss DI Harry Evans is on the verge of retirement and is also following a court case relating to the death of his wife. When he’s not pursuing his personal quest, he’s buzzing around the investigations and trying to help out the new kid on the block, DI Campbell, with half an eye on manipulating some position as consultant to the police in the future. Campbell is busy trying to impress his new team and also to work under the pressure of an unsympathetic boss and a wife with a new baby who is in need of support and isn’t happy about the lack of it.
As each strand of the story is dealt with, the major thread of the priest’s murder picks up pace. As new points of view are introduced, the rich tapestry of it all is revealed in a teasing manner and it becomes compulsive reading as the end draws near. The basic premise of the story and the motive of the killer are really well conceived, providing both a strong spine to the work and a conclusion that is entirely satisfying.
The police and villains alike are all well-formed characters, with the main protagonists being particularly well-penned. The setting and influence of the region add a strong flavour to the investigations and the undulating emotions and doses of humour keep things interesting throughout.