A May Bank Holiday in the Peak District is ruined by the tragic drowning of an eight-year-old girl in picturesque Dovedale. For Detective Constable Ben Cooper, a helpless witness to the tragedy, the incident is not only traumatic, but leads him to become involved in the tangled lives of the Neilds, the dead girl’s family.
As he gets to know them, Cooper begins to suspect that one of them is harbouring a secret – a secret that the whole family might be willing to cover up.
Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Diane Fry has a journey of her own to make – a journey back to her roots. As she finds herself drawn into an investigation of her own among the inner-city streets of Birmingham, Fry realises there is only one person she can rely on to provide the help she needs.
But that man is Ben Cooper, and he’s back in Derbyshire, where his suspicions are leading him towards a shocking discovery on the banks of another Peak District river.
The landscape acts like a new character in this book. Two new characters, in fact, the Dales and Birmingham. Loved the evocative nature of the landscapes described here, both the natural beauty of the rugged world and the concrete jungle of the city.
This book is all about family. The one we grow up in, the ones we see, the ones we belong to whether we want to or not, and the ones we choose. It also shows that no matter what we think, we never know what really goes on behind closed doors, or want damage is wrought, or what price any of us will have to pay for those things.
Though Fry and Cooper are apart for most of this novel, they distinctly grow together, the importance of the relationship to each growing clearer.
Of all the Fry and Cooper novels I’ve read, this more than the others has drawn me into caring what is going to happen to the characters.