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by Pauline Rowson
Fathom, February 2006
320 pages
ISBN: 0955098211

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Adam Greene is a marine artist living in Portsmouth, Hampshire, on the south coast of England. Although he has been married for several years to Faye, an advertising executive, he still suffers remorse over a former lover. The young woman was killed in a fall from a college building and Adam was questioned by the police, but released. Adam knows he could not have killed her, but he truly can't remember the events leading up to Alison's death.

When his best friend, Jack Bartholomew, is killed in the line of duty while fighting a fire, Adam is devastated. Jack was the first firefighter in the door when a gas tank exploded. Jack's widow tells Adam that their home was ransacked during the funeral. And then Adam receives a post card from the dead man. The card is cryptic, obviously a code, and it was mailed the day before Jack went into the burning building.

In the past Adam's best defense was to run away. That was how he handled his over-bearing father and insufferable older brother. He has had no contact with them for years; in fact, Faye doesn't even know they exist. Now he learns his father is dying and he has to go to London. If he hopes to have made peace with the old man, he is too late.

Adam learns from Jack's widow that a disproportionate number of Jack's old crew died of cancer and that Jack himself had the disease. Convinced that Jack was investigating something and got too close to someone powerful, Adam won't give up. This time he is going to do what is right. His wife, a policeman friend, even some of Jack's old mates, urge him to give up the detective work. When he is deliberately knocked off of his motorcycle he realizes that he is now on someone's radar.

This is a fast-paced and enjoyable book with many twists and turns. Adam's investigation is turning over rocks, and there are surprises under them. The characters are well defined and the plotting is excellent. The author has written five non-fiction books and recently started writing fiction. Her first book TIDE OF DEATH introduces DI Andy Horton and will be a series. IN COLD DAYLIGHT, a thriller, is her second book and she has just completed a third. For the reader who likes an atmospheric novel together with a good mystery, Rowson is one to watch.

Reviewed by Lorraine Gelly, April 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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