When a high level police officer is murdered in his own home, Duncan and Gemma are dispatched to his village to solve the case. However, it quickly becomes clear that Alistair Gilbert was not well liked by much of anyone. It certainly doesn’t help that it’s Duncan and Gemma’s first time seeing and working with one another since they slept together, and they are clearly not on the same page. But the two of them will have to put aside their personal feelings both for each other and for the murder victim if they want to solve this case, and the deeper they dig, the more secrets they uncover with rather dangerous answers.
It was a good read if slightly difficult at times (mostly due to my own second hand embarrassment for the characters; I’m the reader that sometimes has to close the book and walk away for a bit because I’m embarrassed for the characters), but I really liked the fact that the author let both of the main characters really process and feel their emotions. At times I was annoyed by Duncan’s obliviousness to what might have caused Gemma’s reaction to their night together, though it was pretty clear that he was thoroughly caught up in his own feeling about their relationship and not really thinking about it logically. It took Gemma and Duncan much longer to have the talk they needed to have than I liked, but the payoff was well worth it. I was pretty frustrated with how long it was taking to sort that out while I was reading the book, but by the end I was very satisfied.
It was also really nice to see Gemma having friends and acquaintances outside of Duncan, which we hadn’t seen in the previous books with the exception of her parents. It definitely feels like the previous books were leading up to this, and I’m very curious to see where things go in the next book as this one doesn’t quite end on a cliffhanger, but it definitely has changed the status quo. This series is definitely my current popcorn read given the way I’m tearing through the books. I’ll be honest though while the mysteries themselves are well constructed and interesting, what really keeps me reading is the characters and their relationship with one another. Four out of five stars.