by Faith Martin
The ensemble cast is back for more murder and mystery in the picturesque Oxford suburbs. During the course of the first three books, the regular crew of the Thames Valley force have become well established. Their relationships and idiosyncrasies have woven themselves into the fabric of the books. But in this new adventure things begin to unravel in unexpected ways.
The arrival of new Superintendent, Jerome Raleigh. Raleigh is something of a high-flyer from the Met, but there is something about him that just doesn’t sit right with DI Greene. Why would an ambitious and driven man like him swap the Met for the leafy suburbs of Thames Valley?
Greene is a natural and instinctive detective with an uncanny ability to see when something isn’t right. In the new Super’s case, alarms bells are ringing loud and clear. And she is not alone in her suspicion that there is more to Jerome Raleigh’s move than meets the eye.
But before she can give any time to her thoughts about the new boss she has a murder to solve. Her investigation into the unexplained death of a would-be politician is going nowhere when an unexpected twist in another case leaves Greene with unplanned time on her hands.
With DI Greene’s forced absence from the station, DS Tyler takes over the murder investigation whilst trying to deal with a shocking upheaval in her personal life.
Murder in the Village sees our regular cast of characters thrown off-kilter by the plots interesting little twists. Whilst I have enjoyed the previous three books in the series, I felt there was a greater maturity to this one that indicates Faith Martin’s growing confidence in her characters and their stories.
I do enjoy the way she writes. The books are full of twists and turns, told with a directness and lack of unnecessary detail that makes them very easy to read. DI Greene herself is a character I find it easy to empathise with. She is good at her job and good with the people around her, but she isn’t perfect. She has her own secrets that continue to pull at her conscience like a broken thread.
I have to admit I have become a fan of the Hillary Green stories and look forward to reading the next instalment, already sat on the shelf awaiting my attention.