Under A Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes
|Under A Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The first in a new police procedural series is a cracker and promises a great deal. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 383||Date: October 2013|
|External links: Author's website|
On the morning of the first of November 2012 the police were called to a cottage just outside a small English village. A popular, attractive young woman had been found dead and murder was suspected. Was it a coincidence that there was then a report of an apparent suicide of a woman who lived close by? Her car had rolled down into a quarry. For DCI Louisa Smith this was her first major incident and it was complicated when she found that the DI on her team was Andy Hamilton. She'd been in a relationship with him and it lasted until she discovered that he was married. Hamilton hadn't given up on her though - he was still convinced that she would come back to him. Not that he planned on it breaking up his marriage, of course.
One of the best crime novelists around at the moment is Elizabeth Haynes. It's only a couple of years since she grabbed everyone's attention with Into The Darkest Corner and since then we've had a couple more standalone novels. I've been doing my best not to get my hopes up for a series but Haynes has obliged with the first in a planned series about DCI Lou Smith and Under a Silent Moon is a cracker.
Haynes has an advantage as a crime writer. For seven years she worked as a Police Intelligence Analyst and in consequence the work of the team in the Major Incident Room is more soundly based than you get in most police procedurals. You know when the team gets a list of activity on a mobile phone and everything magically slips into place? Well, it's the analyst who makes sense of the data. In Under a Silent Moon we even get to see a lot of the raw information coming into the MIR in the form of statements, telephone calls and the like. It's authentic and you get a real feel for how the team works. Gone is the image of the rogue cop who goes out there and solves the mystery despite the worst intentions of his superiors. In its place is a picture of the solid graft which goes into an investigation.
Of course the background would be no good without the characters and the story. The murder victim is Polly Leuchars - an attractive woman in her mid twenties. She's dead when we meet her (in a manner of speaking) but you'll know her - the woman who doesn't want to be tied down and sees sex, with men or women as a happy byproduct of friendship, but the ripples get everywhere. Remarkably for a police procedural all the police team come off the page well, rather than being dominated by one member and the civilians are all real.
The story had me hooked and I really didn't know how it would work out until the answer was on the page in front of me. Perhaps the most telling point though is that I immediately wanted to turn back to the beginning and start reading again to see how it was done. (I daren't look at the beginning - I know exactly what would happen.) I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
A cautionary note - there are some sexual practices in the book which could be dangerous if you tried them at home!
For something similarly impressive you might like to have a look at Pilgrim Soul by Gordon Ferris.
You can read more book reviews or buy Under A Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Under A Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes is in the Top Ten Crime Novels 0f 2013.
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