Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-11-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Stella Darnell, the star of this flawed series debut from Thomson (A Kind of Vanishing), lives under a rigorous self-administered routine, primarily focused on running her London cleaning business, Clean Slate. She's not particularly upset when she learns that her father, Terry, a detective chief superintendent, has died of a heart attack; they had been estranged for years. While clearing out his things, Stella learns that Terry was still keen on finding the person who strangled Kate Rokesmith, a young mother, 30 years earlier in 1981. Despite Stella's original intention to shred the police files he copied, she becomes obsessed with the mystery. Conveniently, Stella finds other connections to the Rokesmith case in her personal and her professional life. In her convincing conversion to dogged sleuth, Stella uses the same intellectual rigor she applies to running her business. Unfortunately, after an impressive opening, the book trails off into contrivance and coincidence. Thomson also overuses foreshadowing, which quickly becomes a tired device. (Sept.)