Tag Archives: Faith Martin

Murder in the Village (DI Hillary Greene #4)

Murder in the Village

by Faith Martin

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.

Murder of the Bride (DI Hillary Greene #3)

Murder of the Bride

Murder of the Bride by Faith Martin

by Faith Martin

Once again, DI Hillary Greene and her intrepid team find themselves investigating a suspicious death under rather unusual circumstances. The victim is young Julia Reynolds, a guest at an anniversary party who came to a somewhat sticky end in a cowshed, dressed as a bride.

The bride part is a bit of a red herring; it was a costume party and her choice of dress was intended as a jibe to her would-be fiance. 

There is no question about the fact she was murdered, but what was she doing in the cowshed and who would want to kill such a popular and lively young woman?

As with Hillary’s previous cases, nothing here is quite what it seems and she and her team soon uncover a web of jealousy and intrigue. Potential suspects begin to emerge out of the woodwork but all lack either motive or opportunity. None of it makes any sense and all avenues seem to be dead ends.

There are plot twists aplenty as Thames Valley’s finest inch ever closer to the truth, uncovering more than they bargained for along the way.

Faith Martin has created a likeable hero in Hillary Green, surrounding her with a supporting cast that is varied and colourful. Each has their unique idiosyncrasies and troubles. There is also the ongoing saga of Hillary’s now dead husband, Ronnie, and his nefarious exploits that continue to follow her like a bad smell. She may have been cleared of any wrong-doing herself, but there is still the question of Ronnie’s ill-gotten gains. One man at least, is determined to get his hands on the money, Sargeant Frant Ross. Frank is a permanent thorn in Hillary’s side, but one that has his uses which she is happy to exploit if it will help with a case.

The book also has a couple of interesting twists as part of the ongoing arc. 

Murder of the Bride is a well written, well-structured crime novel that is both challenging and easy to read. I like Faith’s almost simplistic style. There is a lot of plot and character development but all done in an easily accessible way. The narrative is clean and pacey with little padding.

This being the third on the series the characters and their backstories are already well developed so there is little time spent going over old ground.

I am enjoying these books and look forward to getting into number 4. 

Murder at the University (DI Hillary Greene, #2)

Murder at the Universityby Faith Martin

DI Hillary Greene is back for her second outing, clearing up the streets of Oxford. And a damn fine job she is doing of it. 

This time we find DI Green still suffering from the aftermath of the investigation into her deceased husband’s criminal activities. But she is well respected within the station and determined to remove any stain on her reputation.

A pretty French student has been found dead in her room at an exclusive Oxford College. As DI Greene arrives it appears to be a simple case of an accidental drug overdose. But as the investigation begins, Hillary’s inscrutable instinct tells her that there is more to the case than first thought.

As the evidence comes in, Hillary and her team realise they are dealing with a clever but brutal murder. She is relentless in her search for the truth and slowly begins to uncover a web os=f secrets hidden beneath the college’s veneer of respectability. In the end, it is a chance remark by a colleague that opens the case up and ultimately reveals the truth behind the cruel murder of a promising young girl.

Murder at the University has everything you would expect, and want, from a detective story. There are plenty of plot twists and clues, but also some great characters, particularly Di Hillary Greene herself. What you won’t find here are in-depth discussions about police procedure or rambling descriptions of people and places. The narrative is fast-paced and focused. Whilst we discover a lot about the characters as the story progresses, it is no more than necessary to drive the plot and set the scene for future books.

Faith Martin has a simple but direct way of writing. The plot has plenty of twists and turns and her characters are diverse and believable. Their relationships are as much a part of the story as the investigation itself. 

I for one am pleased to have been introduced to the world of Hillary Greene and am looking forward to joining her on more adventures in the future. 

 

 

Murder on the Oxford Canal (DI Hillary Greene, #1)

Murder on the Oxford Canalby Faith Martin

Despite this being the first of Faith Martin’s books to feature DI Hillary Greene, the story opens in the middle of a personal crisis. No gentle introductions here I’m afraid. Faith throws her reader in the deep the end with everyone but the reader knowing what is going on. On the positive side the book does hit the ground running, a pace it maintains through to the end.

It is a fast-paced story populated by some interesting characters, not least of which is the aforementioned DI Greene who is struggling with some personal issues that threaten her career. He husband is dead and she is being investigated as part of the enquiry into his illegal activities. She has been forced to leave her home and is trying to cope with life on a cramped narrowboat. To top it all, she is handed a case, only to have it whipped away the moment it gets juicy.

Her investigations into the body mysteriously discarded in a remote canal lock lead Hillary and her team to uncover a drug-smuggling operation, But is the mysterious death really linked or is there something else going on?

Murder on the Oxford Canal is a little above the run-of-the-mill. It has a good plot, plenty of clues and some intriguing characters. Good, simple entertainment and worth seeking out the next instalment of DI Hillary Green’s adventures.