Library Journal Review
DS Alexandra Cupidi (introduced in The Birdwatcher) is complex, conflicted, and conscientious. After conducting an investigation that proved a colleague guilty of murder and then having an affair with a married coworker, she transfers from London's Metropolitan Police to coastal Kent. She and daughter Zoë settle on the Dungeness headland, known for its austere, natural beauty. Soon Alex is embroiled in another case. A woman appears on the doorstep of her biological son, Julian, whom she gave up for adoption when he was a toddler. Although she's obviously homeless and displaying signs of previous heroin addiction, Julian welcomes the stranger into his home and invites her to stay overnight. The following morning, the woman has disappeared. However, on that same night, supposedly the same woman is found dead in a drainage ditch on the Dungeness headland. Other bodies are found, including a badly beaten man who was abandoned in a farm's manure pit. Searching for the true identities of the deceased leads Alex and her team to the peace movements of the 1980s, a web of migrant workers, and unbridled greed. VERDICT Shaw's rattling good writing will hold readers to the very end. Fans of the author's "Breen and Tozer" series as well as aficionados of atmospheric British procedurals will enjoy this series launch.-Penelope J.M. Klein, Fayetteville, NY © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Introduced in 2017's The Birdwatcher, Det. Sgt. Alexandra Cupidi takes the lead in Shaw's excellent police procedural set in the coastal marshlands of Kent. Cupidi gets called out to a remote drainage ditch, where an unidentified woman was found dead of unknown causes. Nearly naked and with no identifying marks, the woman appears to have been in the water for about 10 days. Cupidi and Constable Jill Ferriter have very little to go on, even when they do get a name to put to their corpse. The stakes rise with the subsequent discovery of another body, this time in a farm's covered manure pit. As Cupidi and Ferriter dig further into the deaths, they discover links to the 1980s peace protests on Greenham Common and the current opioid addiction crisis. Shaw does a fine job depicting Cupidi's relationships with her teenage daughter and her mother as well as her partnership with Ferriter, with whom she becomes increasingly at ease. The combination of great characters and a gripping plot will leave readers eager for a sequel. Agent: Kari Stuart, Curtis Brown. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
As in his 2017 The Birdwatcher, Shaw takes readers to England's Kentish coast, an area perfect for avid birders such as Detective Sergeant Alex Cupidi's teenage daughter, Zoë. The mother and daughter are new to the area, and settling in is tough; Zoë is too content to spend time with adult birders, and Alex can't do much to remedy that, as her days are taken up with a series of bizarre, possibly connected incidents a man's long-thought-dead mother showing up, another woman's body being found in a marsh, and a suspected killer causing entirely too much trouble for Alex when she confronts him. Shaw again gathers a cast of characters that readers will feel invested in the relationship between Alex and her caring but bumbling partner shines, in particular but the story is a bit less compelling than that of The Birdwatcher. This is still one to give to fans of that book, however, as well as to readers who enjoy mysteries that bring nature to the fore, especially Steve Burrows' birding mysteries.--Verma, Henrietta Copyright 2018 Booklist