“The hills held so many secrets and there was a reason they kept calling him back.”
DI Louise Blackwell – 40 years old, unmarried, and lonely. Still reeling from a severe career setback at her previous posting and the traumatic events that occurred in “The Descent“, she is only just hanging in there… She has few friends, is driven in her quest for justice. Louise’s brother Paul was recently murdered leaving his six year old daughter Emily an orphan. Louise adores Emily and visits her whenever she can because her parents are struggling in their new role of full-time carers of a traumatized child.
Just back from a five month leave after her brother’s murder, DI Louise Blackwell is tasked with the investigation of some murdered wild sheep who live on the hills above Cheddar Gorge. This investigation turns more serious when a man is then attacked, followed by the abduction of a young girl. Surely these cases are connected? Meanwhile, Louise is secretly working on her brother’s murder case, which was never solved.Meanwhile, there is a mentally unstable man who seeks refuge in the caves in Cheddar Gorge… He is also physically unwell, and his labored breathing scare away some businessmen who tour the caves on a drunken lark.“Louise thought of the secrets people carried around with them at all times, and the extent to which those secrets could impinge on their behaviour.”
Louise Blackwell makes for an engaging protagonist, and the beautiful and atmospheric setting is an added bonus. In this her third outing, Louise is once again torn between her work and her familial responsibilities. She is sleep deprived, mistrustful, very lonely, and under pressure.
Once again, her nemesis on the force, DCI Tim Finch, makes Louise’s life interesting – and not in a good way.
This plot featured a social outcast, a conflicted businessman with a penchant for drink, some unscrupulous property developers, an environmental commune, and some distressed and distraught parents.
The setting – Cheddar Gorge, a scenic location much loved by tourists, was almost a character unto itself. Jacob’s Ladder, the cliff walks, the caves…
In case you haven’t yet guessed, I enjoyed “The Gorge” and its predecessors, and I’m eager to read the next novel in the Louise Blackwell series which is called “The Mark“. Highly recommended to all who enjoy police procedural crime fiction.
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 Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley.
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (an imprint of Amazon Publishing UK)
ISBN: 9781542005357 ASIN: B08F54PW7L 332 pages
Following his law degree where he developed an interest in criminal law, Matt Brolly completed his Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University. He reads widely across all genres. He is the bestselling author of the DCI Lambert crime novels Dead Water, Dead Eyed, Dead Lucky, Dead Embers and Dead Time; the acclaimed near-future crime novel Zero; and the US-based thriller The Controller. Matt also writes children’s books as M. J. Brolly. Matt lives in London with his wife and their two young children.