DI Ben Kitto needs a second chance. After ten years working for the murder squad in London, a traumatic event has left him grief-stricken. He’s tried to resign from his job, but his boss has persuaded him to take three months to reconsider.
Ben plans to work in his uncle Ray’s boatyard, on the tiny Scilly island of Bryher where he was born, hoping to mend his shattered nerves. His plans go awry when the body of sixteen year old Laura Trescothick is found on the beach at Hell Bay. Her attacker must still be on the island because no ferries have sailed during a two-day storm.
Everyone on the island is under suspicion. Dark secrets are about to resurface. And the murderer could strike again at any time.
This book was an immensely enjoyable and satisfying read. Kate Rhodes has created a strong new lead in DI Ben Kitto and I’m excited to see that this is going to be the start of a new series.
I very rarely talk about the cover in my reviews but I have to say that the publishers have done a fantastic job with the design of this book. It immediately had me intrigued and I loved the title which already gave the book a very atmospheric edge and this was reflected in Kate’s writing.
Set on the Scilly island of Bryher, off the Cornish coast, the novel opens with the discovery of sixteen-year-old Laura Trescothick’s body on the beach at Hell Bay. The police suspect that this is a tragic case of Laura committing suicide, but there is enough evidence to prompt Ben Kitto to believe that someone may have committed foul play. There are only a small number of residents on the island and they all fall under suspicion. Laura’s murder has shocked the seemingly, crime-free community and soon people begin to play the blame game.
I really liked Ben as a main character, although he was born on the island and lived there throughout his childhood it did feel as though he was an outsider looking in on his own community and possibly the DCI wasn’t over keen on the idea of an inspector from London taking charge of the case, in a sense, showing them what to do. Ben left the island to join the metropolitan police and is taking a few weeks leave, something he isn’t easily drawn upon when questioned about his reasons for taking a break and this creates an element of mystery about him before his secrets begin to unravel.
I really enjoy crime novels when every character falls under suspicion giving the reader, a really hard job of working out who the perpetrator is. There were occasions when I thought I had figured the identity of the killer out but Kate managed to pull the rug out from under my feet.
This is an excellent start to a new crime series; I can’t wait to read the next book. Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of the book to read.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 25th January 2018
Print length: 432 pages