16th July 2020. 4 stars.
I thoroughly enjoyed Deadly Lies, the first DI Mariner story. (Check out my review here.) I looked forward to reading this second outing, which dealt with the disappearance of Yasmin and Ricky, two teenagers from different ends of the social spectrum with nothing in common. Parental pressure ensured Yasmin’s case took precedence, which rankled with Mariner.
Progress was slow and frustrating for the detective with a lot of local politics and peer pressure hampering the investigation. It took some time for the investigation to gain any momentum with the discovery of a body. From here, the pace quickened with the discovery of another body and secrets that revealed another side to the victim, adding more doubt and suspicion into the mix.
Though well-written, with a lot of detail and emphasis on the relationship between the police and Yasmin’s family, the slow pace of the first half of the story left me feeling frustrated. Mariner’s relationship with Anna was well-handled and interesting until he had an uncharacteristic lapse in behaviour that I found hard to believe.
Neither issue spoiled my overall enjoyment of a story that’s well-grounded and populated with interesting characters, relationships and conflicts.
Two teenagers go missing on the same day. Just a coincidence?
They are from very different backgrounds: Yasmin is the talented, grammar-school-educated daughter of devout Muslim professionals. Ricky disappears after storming out of his council house after an argument with his mum’s latest boyfriend.
DI Mariner knows Ricky’s mother from his days in uniform. He is furious when his superiors take him off Ricky’s case and reassign him to the more politically sensitive investigation. The press — and his bosses — are convinced that Yasmin’s disappearance is a racially motivated abduction. Her family have been the target of a far right group.
But Mariner soon discovers that Yasmin is far from the innocent victim her parents think she is. Can he get to the bottom of a perplexing case where no one is what they seem?