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by Iona Whishaw
Touchwood Editions, May 2018
384 pages
ISBN: 177151261X

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

In this fourth book of this series, Inspector Frederick Darling, who used to be a flight lieutenant for Britain during the war, travels back to London from Canada for an inquiry. Two years after the war has ended, the British government has reopened an investigation into a plane crash that occurred in 1943, when Darling's plane went down in a bombing raid over a suspected arms warehouses in occupied France. The 18-year-old gunner, Arthur Evans, was shot and killed. Darling always presumed the shooting was done by the Germans, but now another crew member has come forward and accused Darling of having killed Evans. Jailed in England, Darling faces certain death if convicted.

Lane Winslow, now romantically involved with Darling and a former spy for Britain, travels to London to help Darling. But she's asked to pay a steep price for Darling's freedom—something that may take her away from her beloved King's Cove forever and pull her back into a life she had hoped to escape.

Meanwhile, back in Canada, an elderly woman is found outside her cabin, stabbed to death. Agatha Browning lived alone and there doesn't seem to be any reason for her senseless killing. The motive in this death, as we see through glimpses into the past, deals with a betrayal that occurred 40 years ago in the English countryside. With Darling away, the case falls to the young Constable Ames. Can he solve it with no help from Darling?

There are multiple timelines in the narrative and it jumps back and forth quite a bit. While somewhat distracting, the main plot is always front and center, and Darling's possible death adds great tension to the story. The two mysteries in the book are well done, but it is Darling and Lane's stories that will capture readers, especially those who have followed the series. A running theme throughout the book is about characters who try to do the right thing, even if it means sacrificing their own happiness. Both Darling and Winslow try to spare each other more pain—but are their actions enough to bring about their desired outcomes?

If you like strong historical mysteries with great characters, make sure to add this one to your summer reading list.

§ Lourdes Venard is an independent editor who divides her time between New York and Maui.

Reviewed by Lourdes Venard, May 2018

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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