The earthshaking decade of the 1960s comes to a sweeping and dangerous close, as William Shaw's detective duo battle the most powerful members of London society.
After being wounded in the line of duty, Detective Sergeant Breen recuperates on the family farm of his former partner, Helen Tozer. To fill the long and empty hours, he reviews the open case file for a murder that has haunted Helen for years: that of her younger sister. Breen discovers that the teenage victim had been having a secret affair with James Fletchet, the son of an affluent local landowner, celebrated for his service in Kenya during the Mau Mau Uprising.
Breen and Tozer return to London's Criminal Investigation Division, where their questions about Fletchet's past are met with resistance and suspicion. The deeper they probe, the more people they implicate in their investigation. New Scotland Yard doesn't look kindly upon breaking rank, and it's only a matter of time before Breen and Tozer make themselves a target.
Shaw's stirring, heartfelt and diabolically plotted mystery series is everything a reader looks for: enveloping, invigorating, and wonderfully entertaining.
Set in 1969, British author Shaw's superb conclusion to his crime trilogy (following 2015's The Kings of London) finds the recently wounded Det. Sgt. Cathal "Paddy" Breen convalescing at the family farm of his former police partner, Helen Tozer, in Devon. Breen, eager to get back to police work, agrees, unofficially, to look into the murder of Helen's 16-year-old sister, Alexandra, which occurred almost five years earlier, when it's discovered that Alexandra had an affair with a wealthy and married peer of the realm. Helen and Breen uncover a plot that leads to Africa during the Kenya Emergency, a real event that involved the torture and murder of those suspected of being part of the Mau Mau uprising. Shaw picks up multiple plot threads, expertly weaving them into a complex story that explores the darkest parts of the human psyche and the erosion of one man's humanity, while balancing the delicate and awkwardly sweet relationship between the traditional Breen and decidedly untraditional Helen, as well as her relationship with her still grieving parents. Shaw perfectly captures the end of an uneasy era, and the utterly terrifying final scene will leave readers breathless.