My favorite crime novel ever! Well ... maybe not ever ever, but certainly my favorite by Val.
A child is missing. Missing in a tiny town with weird tiny town inhabitants who are not very helpful for the investigation. Is it murder? Possibly. Why? What happened? And what is the motive?
The atmosphere created is creepy but wonderful. You have the English countryside with all it's up and down sides, the village with all it's rumors and who doesn't like who because of what, just to see that they all stick together in the end. You have the detective and his team (I didn't really like anyone in particular in the team ... not sure if that was how she had intended it) working their mind off ... and you have a revelation about the history of the characters every now and then.
The case is rather frustrating. Not only for the detective, but as well for you! It took me forever to 'solve the case'. I had everyone in my suspicion, outsiders, insiders, everyone. And whenever I thought I got it, I turned the page ... and changed my mind. (And I'm normally pretty good in solving the cases before the detectives! Honestly! So good, I think I should go to join the police!)
I love Val McDermit novels. So far I've read 4 of them (and there are about a zillion) but this is the best! It's my recommendation when ever somebody asks me for a crime novel.
So. If you like crime novels. Go and get reading. Val McDermit it is.