‘Murder In The Family’ by Faith Martin

15–year-old Billy Davies is found dead in his father’s shed. A pair of gardening shears thrust brutally into his chest.

DI Hillary Greene tries to get to the bottom of this baffling crime.

How had Billy come into contact with such a vicious killer? Who wanted him dead and why? The investigation reveals that the teenager was not such an innocent young man.

Meanwhile, Hillary’s having a tough time at work. She’s been passed over for promotion, and her reliable constable Tommy Lynch is to be transferred out. But Hillary won’t let distractions get in the way of solving crimes.

To catch this killer, Hillary will need to dig deep into the dark secrets of a small community.

This is the fifth book in the best selling series featuring DI Hilary Greene and her team.  It’s also the fifth book by this author that I have absolutely loved but more about that in a bit.

At the beginning of the book, DI Greene is actually acting Detective Chief Inspector.  I got the impression that DI Greene isn’t so much bothered about losing out on the permanent promotion, but she is bothered about the person who she lost it to as there is a history of ill feeling between the two of them.  DI Greene has been feeling a bit swamped by the amount of paperwork that comes with the role of a Detective Chief Inspector and that is one thing that she won’t regret giving up.  She has also been missing the investigation role that she has as a Detective Inspector.  When she is acting up, she has her own little office, where she is on her own and she feels left out of the loop as regards the normal day to day banter that her team usually share.  Hillary is still a bit of a loner, who seems to much prefer her own company than mixing with people.   Hillary works well with her team, who seem to have her back but there are two individuals that she doesn’t seem to trust- Frank and Lauren.  Hillary is a feisty, independent lady, who is in her forties.  DI Greene is determined and she tells it like it is.  She certainly speaks her mind.  DI Greene does more than her fair share of the workload and is always happy to muck in if somebody needs help.  This case seems to get to her more than most because it is the brutal murder of a 15 year old boy, still a child in so many ways.  The young age of the victim strengthens DI Greene’s determination to get to the truth, to solve the case and apprehend the murderer before anybody else is killed.  There were two characters that I really didn’t take to and I could quite cheerfully have slapped them around the face with a wet flip flop and a wet fish.  Of course I am talking about the characters of Frank and Lauren.  Frank has got to be the laziest, most chauvinistic waste of space ever to walk the earth.  To be honest it is beyond me how he is still a serving police officer as he has some pretty unpleasant views, which are abhorrent in today’s police service and he never does his fair share of the work.  Lauren is a bit of a tart, who was in an affair with one of Hillary’s bosses and she thought that this would afford her some extra privileges- wrong!!!  Her lover breaks off the affair as he wants promotion, but he knows that he is unlikely to get it if he is still with her.  Lauren certainly uses her femininity to get what she wants.

Once again, and as I have found the rest of the books in this series, I found ‘Murder In The Family’ to be superbly written and unputdownable (not sure if that is a word or not but it is now).  I don’t mean that my Kindle was glued to my hand, because it wasn’t, but I found that when I started reading the book I just couldn’t stop.  Reading ‘Murder In The Family’ became seriously addictive and I just had to read one more chapter and then another and so on and so forth.  I was so engrossed in the story that I didn’t realise how quickly the pages were turning.  In fact, it was almost as if they were turning themselves and before I knew it I had finished the book, which I was so disappointed about.  I was enjoying the writing style and the reunion with old friends and enemies so much that I just wanted the book to continue.  Reading this book was a bit like riding on a rollercoaster ride with all the twists, turns and stomach churning moments.  Several times I almost had to read through my fingers as I genuinely feared what was going to happen next.  More than once I thought that I had fathomed out who the murderer was but of course I was completely wrong and the murderer was somebody else entirely.  Oops  The author perfectly captured the small village mentality, where all the villagers are suspicious of in comers and they don’t like outsiders interfering in village life.  Not only that but the small village seems to be full of drama, intrigue and downright scandalous happenings.

In short, I loved reading ‘Murder In The Family’ and I can’t wait to read what comes next from the talented, but slightly twisted, pen of Faith Martin.  I would recommend this series to anybody.  The score on the board for this book is a whopping 5* out of 5*.

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