Jo Daniels life comes to a terrifying end in the most heart wrenching of circumstances as an apparently motiveless attack leaves her family devastated yet determined to find the killer who has ripped a gaping hole in their lives.
As the grisly chain of events unfold Grace, the bereaved mother, retreats into the warmth and familiarity of her daughter’s bedroom as she clings to the last vestiges of Jo’s life embedded in the smells and memories of her recently departed child’s safe haven.
The painstaking police investigation unearths similarities with two previously unresolved murders but as public interest in the case grows fresh evidence dries up and threatens to leave the family left behind with more questions than answers.
Jane Isaac develops an air of gritty realism more akin to a Touch of Frost than the warped bucolic idyll portrayed in Midsomer. The Nottinghamshire setting and the claustrophobia of urban life underscore the darkness of the violent death but it is the all pervading influence of Faye that gives the story its real edge.
Faye offers instant friendship and a shoulder for Grace to cry on but this apparently genuine bond begins to take on a Machiavellian twist as the family close ranks in ever more desperate attempts to ensure justice for their beloved Jo. In the throes of grieving though the mother’s perception becomes distorted by the need for someone, anyone to share her loss first hand.
The plot is book ended by court room sequences that reveal the cruel twists of a legal system forced under the spotlight of press scrutiny. By playing on her emotional vulnerabilities Grace’s seemingly watertight defence becomes porous as the barrister begins to unpick the credibility of her evidence which ultimately casts doubt on her ability to act rationally.
There are the inevitable shocks and surprises as the unrelenting pressure to deliver a conviction, despite the confusion of clues, culminates in a tragic end.
- Rich Review rating: