First-year detective Kathleen Doyle is a plucky Irish redhead of humble origins and modest means. Chief Inspector Michael Acton is her antithesis: a British lord turned cop. He's tall, handsome, and enigmatic - to a fault. He also has a knack for solving London's most high-profile crimes. Acton selects Doyle out of the newbie squad to partner with him on a series of investigations because she always knows when someone is lying - a trait that comes in handy when interviewing suspects and witnesses.
Acton and Doyle are sent to investigate the murder of a trainer at a racetrack, and soon new killings related to the first start unfolding, dragging the two investigators into ever more perilous situations. But the real danger is the unlikely attachment that develops between the ultra-reserved, aristocratic chief inspector and his spirited, working-class sidekick... a relationship that will raise plenty of eyebrows - and hackles - among their colleagues at the Yard.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Delia on 22-08-13
Could Have Been Good But...
Doyle is bright young detective. Acton is a brooding enigmatic Chief Inspector. Throw in a mystery with a lot of twists and it has everything I normally like in a book. And yet - overshadowing all of it, is this very disturbing, even creepy behavior of Acton. Not only that, but Doyle's total acceptance of it, when she finds out, without even a small freak out on him. In fact, when the author was narrating some of Acton's thoughts and actions, I actually for a minute thought I was listening to the killer's thoughts. So much of that part was just way too over the top for my taste. It gets where you just can't categorize it as romantic behavior, even if you were used to old-fashioned alpha male sexist type heroes of decades past. Then back to the actual mystery, the way the killer is finally dealt with in the end and the story tie up kind of left me a bit unsettled. So if this is the first in a series, I am curious to know whether the author will tone down that disturbing behavior and reaction of the main characters and focus more on the mystery itself. So I might give the next one a try and give the characters a chance to redeem themselves.
All that aside, I did like Marcella Riordan, Especially her narration of Doyle, with her pleasant Irish accent. So here's to hoping that by the next book. Acton gets the psychiatric help he so clearly needs, and Doyle grows a pair.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
By Tracey on 05-08-13
Great new entry into British mysteries
I found it difficult to truly classify this book and found that to be a positive aspect of this unique new voice to British mysteries. This is part police procedural, part romance (with a slightly creepy bent) and part quasi-paranormal.
Newly promoted DC Kathleen Doyle, with her lilting Irish accent and the fey ability to "read" the truth in people becomes the protégé of DCI Michael Sinclair, an English lord called Holmes behind his back for his uncanny ability to solve the most complex of mysteries.
The mystery is moderately complex, but the true joy in this book is the unique voice of the protagonist. I look forward to reading more of Cleeland's novels, as she begins to make her mysteries more taut, because her characters are already "spot on."
Marcella Riordan's narration is superb, especially her delivery of Doyle's Irish voice!
19 of 19 people found this review helpful