“Web Of Lies” is the first novel in the Detective Sebastian Clifford crime series.
Detective Sebastian Clifford – the 38 year old second son of Viscount Worthington, Seb comes from a wealthy and influential background. As his elder brother is due to inherit the aristocratic title, Seb is more than happy to leave that part of the family ‘burden’ to him. Seb is handsome and at six foot six, he is extraordinarily tall. He has a highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM). He joined the police and worked his way up the ranks to Detective Chief Inspector of the London Metropolitan Police. Recently, a work scandal has left him with no choice but to resign from the police which leaves him at a loose end…
He is enlisted to attend a family funeral to represent the clan. His parents didn’t want to attend because it has come to light that the dead man, his cousin’s husband, was involved in a diabolical ponzi scheme which left many of his investors with massive losses. After the funeral, his cousin Sarah asks Seb to investigate the supposed ‘suicide’ of her husband, because despite the coroner’s verdict, she believes he was murdered.
Seb stays on in Market Harborough to investigate. He is accompanied by his beloved elderly yellow labrador dog, Elsa. When he calls the local police to procure the police report and coroner’s report, the phone is answered by a very bored, desk-bound DC Bird, who says she will get him the documents he needs if she can help him in the investigation.
DC Lucinda Bird (aka Birdie) – is twenty-six years old, short, with wild red curly hair and freckles. She drives a clapped out old Mini. Birdie lives with her adoptive parents, whom she loves, yet she is anxious to find and meet her birth-mother. She is chronically late for everything and is constantly hungry and mooching for food. Birdie is the youngest person on her team, and is very bright, lively, intuitive and eager for ‘excitement’.I’m not sure what I expected when I began this book, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. It was a quick read featuring memorable protagonists. All in all a promising start to a new crime series.
The setting was, for the most part, Market Harborough, a real market town in the county of Leicestershire, England.
This crime novel covered themes including blackmail, ponzi schemes, subterfuge and yes, murder.
The main protagonist, Detective Sebastian Clifford put me in mind of Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley character as they are both from aristocratic families. I found Seb Clifford to be a level headed, intelligent detective and liked him immensely.
The secondary protagonist, DC Lucinda Bird (Birdie), I liked less. Although she was very bright, she showed a dire lack of maturity and had some annoying habits. Clifford had far more patience with her that I ever would have. She did add levity to the narrative.
The writing style was quite compelling, and I found the story to be serious crime fiction with elements of ‘cozy’ mystery thrown in for good measure. The result was an entertaining, engrossing read.
The denouement of the novel was very satisfactory and worked to set up the series for future novels.
I plan to read the second novel in this series as I am eager to learn more of the evolving working relationship between Clifford and Birdie. An excellent introduction to what I hope will be a long-running series. Recommended.
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from the author via Emma at Damppebbles Blog Tours
Published: May 7, 2021 Publisher: Top Drawer Press
ISBN: 9780995144804 ASIN: B08XPRZWNP 344 pages
Sally Rigby was born in Northampton, in the UK. She has always had the travel bug, and after living in both Manchester and London, eventually moved overseas. From 2001 she has lived with her family in New Zealand (apart from five years in Australia), which she considers to be the most beautiful place in the world. After writing young adult fiction for many years, under a pen name, Sally decided to move into crime fiction. Her Cavendish & Walker series brings together two headstrong, and very different, women – DCI Whitney Walker, and forensic psychologist Dr Georgina Cavendish. Sally has a background in education, and has always loved crime fiction books, films and TV programs. She has a particular fascination with the psychology of serial killers.
Check out her website for a FREE prequel story….. https://sallyrigby.com