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Jo Bannister's police procedurals have been widely praised not only for outstanding plotting and suspense, but also for their brilliant and compelling characterization and with Perfect Sins she again proves that she is "one of the genre's best." (Booklist)
Four years ago, Gabriel Ash was working with the British government investigating hijackings in Somalia. But when his wife and sons disappeared, presumably taken—and probably killed—by pirates, his life fell apart. He has sudden reason to hope when a senior policeman suggests that his sons might still be alive—until that policeman is murdered. Still, there seems to be some link to a local operation, and Ash, no longer a government agent, is determined to find it.
Meanwhile, his friend Hazel Best has been having a tough time of her own. A police constable whose last case ended with her shooting someone dead, she is just beginning to regain her balance. Hazel and Ash are both beginning to take more of an interest in the outside world, when a neighboring archaeologist decides to dig up a curious mound of earth near the ice house on his land. It might be a burial mound, he thinks. It is, but not the ancient one he expects; it holds the bones of a little boy from perhaps thirty years ago, carefully laid to rest with twentieth-century toys. As Hazel is slowly drawn back into police work, Ash finds himself under threat from someone who must think his investigation into his family's disappearance is finally getting somewhere...
British author Bannister's well-constructed sequel to 2013's Deadly Virtues finds Gabriel Ash, who was once involved in tracking hijacked munitions for national security, still searching for his wife and children, who were kidnapped by Somali pirates four years earlier. A long stay in a psychiatric ward has changed Ash, but it hasn't kept him from pursuing leads to his missing family. Hazel Best, a police constable who befriended Ash in Deadly Virtues, introduces him to Lord Peregrine Byrfield and David Sperrin, who's conducting an archeological survey on Byrfield's estate north of London. When Sperrin unearths a relatively recent crude grave containing a young boy's skeleton, Best declares it a crime scene. Rumors fly, and the subsequent police investigation uncovers secrets that affect both the Sperrin and the Byrfield families. Readers will look forward to seeing more of Bannister's finely drawn leads fragile but determined Ash and good-hearted, impetuous Best especially after the shocking cliffhanger ending.