Wednesday 31 March 2021

Guest Review: A Fatal Affair by Faith Martin

She was dressed in a long white gown, embroidered with tiny flowers. Her body was wrapped in colourful ribbons that floated in the breeze. But underneath the swathe of golden hair, a string of darkly smudged bruises ringed her neck.

As May Day dawns in the peaceful village of Middle Fenton, a young woman is found brutally strangled, her body tied up with ribbons in the middle of the green. A week later, her boyfriend is found hanged in a local barn, and the police assume guilt over murdering his beloved has driven him to suicide – but not everyone is convinced.

WPC Trudy Loveday and coroner Clement Ryder are sent to investigate, and quickly realise that there’s a double murderer on the loose.
But the killer has already shown willingness to remove anyone who threatens to discover their identity… As Trudy and Clement circle in on the culprit, can they crack the case before they too come to a nasty end?

Review: This is the sixth book in the Ryder and Loveday series from Faith Martin. These stories tell of the investigations carried out by Oxford city coroner Dr Clement Ryder with the assistance of WPC Trudy Loveday, a young police officer in the early days of her career. All the books are set in the early 1960s in Oxford and surrounding villages. They can all be read as standalone stories.

In this case, Dr Ryder and Trudy are called in after a young village girl is found murdered early on May Day and her boyfriend is found hanged at a local farm a few days afterwards. The boy in question is the son of a high-ranking police officer who is keen to clear his son of suspicion of murdering the girl and then committing suicide. The coroner, ably assisted by the WPC, digs into activities in the village, turning up quite a few surprises and many possibilities for what may have happened to the girl and the young man. After many twists and turns, the story reaches a thrilling climax as the chain of events finally becomes clear.

Having read and enjoyed all of the books in this series so far, I sat down looking forward to another story filled with mystery and intrigue. I was not disappointed. As so often before, I found myself quite unable to guess at the outcome of the investigation; there were suspects aplenty and Faith Martin led me down many a blind alley before the truth was revealed in truly dramatic fashion. The characters that the sleuthing duo met along the way were so skilfully described that I felt I knew each one, but then, which were passionate about family or others in their lives and which really evil? I can thoroughly recommend this book to lovers of thrilling mystery stories. I am enjoying the pairing of the coroner and the young police officer and hope that there may be more books to come in this series.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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