On a short holiday with her partner Helen Weeks reads about a girl who has gone missing in her hometown of Polesford. Poppy is the second teenage girl to disappear in a couple of weeks and it’s headline news. The police have got a suspect and Helen realises it is the husband of her closest childhood friend. Helen insists on returning to support her friend but it also stirs difficult memories, why she left Polesford and doesn’t keep in touch. Meanwhile, Helen’s partner Tom Thorne has a gut feeling that the police have the wrong man and when the body of the first girl turns up he is even more convinced.
I have not read any of Billingham’s books before and am aware that there is a long series and complex backstory. Enough of the background is given here to give understanding and allow this book to be read as a standalone. The storyline is actually very believable, pertinent to recent events and engrossing. Although I’d sussed the perpetrator by halfway through there was still enough to keep guessing. The writing is tight and as most of the characters are well-known to fans it is well-edited. A solid and entertaining thriller from a quality writer.