4th in the Summers series.

John Hathaway, a brilliant barrister, secures the acquittal
of Graham Scobie, who had been accused of the murder of Devon
Bliss, a very popular newsreader. The verdict is enormously
unpopular. Hathaway immediately retires to the village of
Lambourn, near Newbury (and hence in Summers’ ‘patch’).
When a series of very unpleasant incidents, including a
death threat, occur, Summers is called in. He soon discovers
that Scobie himself is also in the area, as is a man who at
the age of 14 murdered his baby twin half-siblings. They are
joined by a journalist who covered the Scobie trial and is
now tracking him. Meanwhile Summers new DI, Alex Lomax
(the fourth in four books as series fans will know) is taking
a very personal interest in Scobie, while at the same time trying
to catch a con team. It is impossible to predict who will
be murdered!

Sometimes it just all comes right for a writer. The subject matter
is ideal, the plot conception brilliant; everything just comes together
and a really good book results. This is the case with Cold Blood.
Kelly likes to take on cases which have some relation to big real-life
ones (here Jill Dando of course) but unlike some of her other books she does
not here attempt issues which are too big for her. Her other delight is
the piling of coincidence upon coincidence, and often this becomes
too much. Here it works perfectly – and the last twist, well after the
murder is solved, is a delight. It is hard to say very much without
spoilers, and as the plot is, in itself, a joy (and in this precise form,
as far as I know, original – though this is probably untrue!) that would be
a shame. Here you have who’s, why’s and wherefore’s in abundance.
I would suspect this is much Kelly’s best book.

(June 2007)

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