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The Shivering Turn
Jennie Redhead – Book I
Sally Spencer

Severn House
31 October 2016/ ISBN 9780727886675
Mystery/Historical

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

 

Jennie Redhead is an Oxford graduate who used to be a police detective until she was forced to leave. Now she works as a private investigator and, when a distraught woman begs her to find her daughter she accepts the case. Mary Corbet is oddly convinced that her daughter is dead, although the police merely think she has run away. The only clue as to what might have happened is a quote from an obscure 17th century poem.

This book is set in 1974, a recent but very different time from our own. Apart from the lack of technology, I did not feel that I was reading about another time. It is also written in the present tense, which jarred initially, but I was instantly sucked into what is a very readable and gripping tale. Ms Spencer has a talent for making her characters interesting and believable, even though many of them have more than a little of the cliché about them. Part of this serves to get the message across of a place where wealth and privilege will buy anything, but where dogged determination might just tip the scales in your favor. The plot was rather easy to guess, but there are still surprises. Now the series has been set up I anticipate subsequent books to be more complex. This is a dark tale, showing more of the undesirable side of Oxford than Morse or Lewis, but with a detective it is easy to like and root for, and ultimately, a feeling of justice done. I will certainly be looking out for the next in the series.

Reviewed 2017
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