Wilkinson, Kerry - 'Scarred for Life'
A young man, a promising student, is found dead. His body has been dumped in a rubbish container behind a rowing clubhouse. He had recently been admitted as a member of the rowing club and had been to a party with other new members on the night of his death. Jessica Daniel and her team find that, rather than his friends and colleagues helping their investigations, they are reluctant to contribute useful information. Jessica then finds herself targeted by vandalism and anonymous letters through her door and gradually sidelined from the investigation.
Meanwhile a young homeless woman whom she has befriended grows in confidence and slowly opens up under Jessica's quiet support. Other cases such as a killer of young women, a tattooed man robbing off-licences and her chief inspector, formally her supporter and friend, but now suspiciously cold and distant, all cause her workload to spiral out of control.
The book is set at a time when police forces are under increasing pressure of reducing resources and outside scrutiny and the impact of this comes clearly through the writing. The characters are well written and engaging and my only slight caveat is the ending. This is quite shocking and feels as if it was written with a very clear sequel in mind. This niggle aside, I enjoyed the book and intend to read more by this author.
This is the ninth novel featuring DI Jessica Daniel but this works well as a stand-alone.
Susan White, England