Severn House, 2015.

Review published Jan 2017.

Part of the Shaw and Valentine series, featuring policemen in the modern U.K.

Detective Sergeant George Valentine used to be partnered with Detective Inspector Peter Shaw's father, also a Detective Inspector, now dead. So there is a deep bond between the two men, who represent vastly different approaches to solving murder cases. Peter Shaw is a university graduate, an artist who also trained at the FBI academy in Quantico. He has an artist's eye and is known throught the U.K. for his skill in creating drawings from witness descriptions. George Valentine is an old-fashioned cop who plunges into a case before he has grasped the details.

It is important to Kelly that police officers are human beings with human lives to live, despite the pressures of the Job. It's also important to understand that police cannot always concentrate their attention on a single case.

In this book, Kelly carries on his description of police life in the context of the seemingly unrelated events of a religious pilgrimage, a rash of trainers strung together and tossed across overhead wires, and the murder of an old woman in a nursing home on her hundredth birthday. This is all done in the context of life along the northwest Norfolk coast, complete with extreme sea sports.

Kelly's works are tightly plotted and fast-paced page turners. He has won awards for literature and for crime fiction. His insistence on weaving the personal and professional lives of his detectives together insures that his books are always seriously thought-provoking as well as entertaining.