Cassie Maltham, her husband Fergus, and another couple are vacationing in rural Norfolk. The holiday is an experiment of sorts. Fergus thinks that coming back here will be therapeutic for Cassie, who experienced a childhood trauma in the area. Twenty years previously, Cassie and her cousin Suzie were taking a shortcut home through the ‘Greenway’ when Suzie vanished.
The Greenway is an ancient ceremonial pathway of some sort that is viewed with superstition in the minds of the locals. Many believe it is a sort of portal to the spirit world.
Now, just days into their holiday, another young girl goes missing. Sara Jane Cassidy was also last seen by her friends on ‘The Greenway’. Curiously, Sara Jane resembles Suzie Ashmore in appearance…
The policemen, D.I. Mike Croft and his sergeant Bill Enfield are tasked with the case of finding Sara Jane. D.I. Mike Croft, a young man, is divorced after the death of his only son in a hit-and-run accident, and lives alone. Enfield is married, a career copper with little ambition to move up the ranks, and due to retire soon.
Because the case has so many similarities to the Suzie Ashmore case twenty years before, they enlist the aid of retired D.I. Tynan who worked that case. Tynan jumps at the chance to help out. The Suzie Ashmore case was never solved and he felt it was his own personal failure. Also, he is lonely and at loose ends since his retirement and the death of his beloved wife two years previously.
The two cases have three striking parallels. Both young girls vanished in broad daylight. Both girls disappeared while walking through the Greenway, AND, both girls vanished when Cassie Maltham was in the area… A coincidence?
Cassie, who never fully recovered from her cousin’s disappearance, suffers nightmares to this day. Under the care of a psychiatrist, some would consider her mentally unstable.
Police frustrations mount…
“The Greenway” was a satisfying blend of police procedural mystery and thriller. Written in a forthright, linear way it was very easy to follow.
The characters were likable. I especially enjoyed the growing friendship between Croft and Tynan. The current D.I. and the retired D.I. are both single, lonely men who are driven by police work.
The rural Norfolk setting was atmospheric and well described. The bizarre nature of the case kept my interest throughout.
Although the resolution of the case explained the who and the how, it did not entirely explain the ‘why‘ of the matter as much as I might have liked.
I really enjoyed reading “The Greenway” and plan to read the second Mike Croft novel.
I received a complimentary digital copy of “The Greenway” from Joffe Books via NetGalley for review purposes and reading enjoyment.Jane Adams 1960-
is a British writer of psychological thrillers. Her first book, The Greenway, was nominated for a John Creasey Award in 1995. Jane Adams is the author of 30 published crime novels, published by Pan Macmillan, Allison & Busby and Severn House. Adams has a degree in sociology, was once lead vocalist in a folk rock band and is married with two children. She lives in Leicester.