It was 1993 when Andy last saw his sister, Willow, one minute he was holding her hand, and the next she was gone.
Thirty years later, Andy has a family of his own, but he’s never forgotten his little sister.
How could he?
Her disappearance destroyed his family and ended his childhood, and with all the leads dried up and no new clues he’s had to accept that she’s gone forever. That’s until he’s contacted by a woman who claims to have a message for him from Willow, sceptical, but unable to resist trying anything Andy meets up with her.
Cleo knows things that were never made public at the time, and Andy starts to think that just maybe, she really is in contact with Willow.
When one of his childhood adversaries is found murdered Andy turns to the police officer in charge of the investigation at the time for help.
DCI Unwin Phelps had reluctantly retired with Willow being his only cold, unsolved case. Offered the opportunity to finally find out what happened to her he agrees to get involved. Working with Cleo and Andy they don’t realise the danger they’re in.
Is Willow back and seeking revenge?
If so, is she dead or alive, and why are those involved in the case being picked off, one by one?
Andy will have to dig deep into a dark past he’d rather forget for the answers, but will finding out break him and those he loves?
Andy’s been looking forward to the fair coming to town for ages. It’s one of the highlights of the social calendar, and all the kids at school are talking about it. Imagine his horror when his parents say he has to take his little sister along. What will his mates think? From the first page, we’re told how much Andy loves his kid sister, but he really doesn’t fancy being saddled with her when he wants to have fun. It sets the tone for the rest of the book and the guilt to follow. Willow disappears and that’s the last time he sees his sister. He grows, he marries, and he has kids of his own–but the blame and guilt he feels mar his life. Years have passed and the mystery hasn’t been solved–yet.
This is the first book I’ve read by this author and a new one for me. She pulls you in with the enticement of the fairground from page one. The characterisation is good, and her people are believable. As you get to know them, the reader splits them into two camps … ‘Don’t like you,’ and, ‘You’re okay.’ As with all good mysteries, as the detection starts, we’re cleverly pulled into suspecting everybody at the appropriate moments in the book This novel has everything you could ask from a detective mystery, and the writing is poignant and sensitively written, with the author having a sound understanding of her characters. DCI Unwin Phelps is a likeable detective that it’s hard not to be drawn to. And the pace is just right, it licks along nicely and never feels cumbersome or clunky.
I highly recommend this book.
Katherine Black / Susan (Sooz) Simpson
Founder of Best Book Editors
Katherine has held almost every single job imaginable, from painting gnomes to zookeeper. She spent most of her life in the caring profession and has managed both a nursing home and a care agency. But her passion for the written language always brings her home to novel writing.
Born in Tyne-and-Wear, North-East England, she has settled in the beautiful Lake District, Cumbria, with her partner, two dogs, a cat, an iguana and a python (just don’t ask her which of those six things is her favourite!).
She specialises in content creation and social media outreach, and has been a developmental editor for hundreds of clients. She owns and operates bestbookeditors.com where she helps foundling authors polish their skills. However, after being diagnosed with a dramatic brain condition in 2022, she has had to let 23 staff go, and scale back the business. BBE is still very much open, we are just fewer and can’t take as much work on.
Katherine Black is the author of psychological thriller/detective/fantasy adventure novels.