by Sarah Ward
Derbyshire, 1978: a small town in the idyllic English countryside is traumatized by the kidnapping of two young schoolgirls, Rachel Jones and Sophie Jenkins. Within hours, Rachel is found wandering alone near the roadside, unharmed yet unable to remember anything, except that her abductor was a woman. No trace of Sophie is ever discovered.
Present day: over thirty years later, Sophie’s mother commits suicide. Detective inspector Francis Sadler and detective constable Connie Childs are assigned to look at the kidnapping again to see if modern police methods can discover something that the original team missed. Rachel, with the help of her formidable mother and grandmother, recovered from the kidnapping and has become a family genealogist. She wants nothing more than to continue living quietly beneath the radar, but the discovery of the strangled body of one of her former teachers days after the suicide brings the national media back to her doorstep. Desperate to stop a modern killer from striking again, Rachel and the police must unpick the clues to uncover what really happened all those years ago as the past threatens to engulf the present.
This is the first book in the DC Connie Childs Series. I LOVED this book. ‘Page-turning debut’ is right. Lots of tension, suspense, a superb plot and Sarah knows how to write characters. That’s really important to me in my reading. And a sense of place, I like to to be transported when I’m reading. If the mystery or puzzle is super good, but you don’t get me wrapped up in the characters lives and the place where they live, it just loses something for me. Sarah is excellent at both!
Detective Inspector Sadler and Detective Constable Connie Childs make a great team. Just a hint of maybe some attraction going on between them. Connie is the newbie to the team. Detective Sergeant Damian Palmer, senior to Connie, is the third person in the team. He was distracted throughout this story as his wedding was coming up. He seemed to be having second thoughts and this added some tension to the storyline. He wasn’t as big a character as Connie and Sadler. I’m really looking forward to watching this team mature and grow together. I have the next two books in the series. I won all three in a contest at the author’s website, crimepieces. She does excellent reviews there of other’s books as well! Be sure to stop over and check it out.
The genealogy thread in this story was interesting. I really liked Rachel, I guess you would call her the protagonist of this story? I find myself wishing she would be back in the next book, but I’m sure she won’t be.
Have you read any of these DC Connie Childs books? If you like police procedurals this series might be for you!