Saturday, July 7, 2012
"There's a place for us...somewhere" Song lyrics
This story begins in 1963. In the normally quiet English countryside, a police constable gets a call from a frantic mother announcing that her thirteen-year-old daughter is missing and asking for help.
Since there have been two other young people gone missing recently, police don't waste any time in getting a search party together.
Alison Carter lived with her mother and step-father in a small hamlet of Scardale, England where the population was made up of only about three families who were very closely bound.
The investigation, led by Detective Inspector George Bennett, is very thorough but stalls until one of the old time residents remembers an old mine. At that scene, items are discovered but still no body. The evidence points to one person and officials must decide if there is sufficient evidence to arrest that person for murder.
The setting of the small hamlet is well described. We witness the confidence of the members that the girl will be found and then the gradual realization that she can't be found. The residents have difficulty that anyone would come to harm in their community would be guilty of a crime like this, in particular to an innocent teenage girl.
Then the story moves to 1998 when Det. Inspector Bennett is retired. His son meets a young woman who wants to return to Scardale and write about the crime. New events come to life that will shock the reader.
Val McDermid is a superb entertainer. The plotting is masterful, the characters believable and this excellent book deserves the many allocates it received when it was published.