AN ACCIDENTAL DEATH
The story opens with the apparently accidental drowning of a sixth form student in the Norfolk countryside. As a matter of routine, or so it seems, the case passes across the desk of Detective Sergeant Smith, recently returned to work after an internal investigation into another case that has led to tensions between officers at Kings Lake police headquarters. As an ex DCI, Smith could have retired by now, and it is clear that some of his superiors wish that he would do so.
The latest trainee detective to work with him is the son of a member of his former team, and together they begin to unravel the truth about what happened to Wayne Fletcher. As the investigation proceeds, it becomes clear that others are involved - some seem determined to prevent it, some seem to be taking too much interest.
In the end Smith operates alone, having stepped too far outside standard procedures to ask for support. He knows that his own life might be at risk but he has not calculated on the life of his young assistant also being put in danger.
BUT FOR THE GRACE
“We are living in the departure lounge,” said Ralph Greenwood, “and flights leave with monotonous regularity.” So when another resident of the Rosemary House care home is found dead in her chair one Saturday evening in December, no-one is very surprised – not until the results of a routine post-mortem reveal something extraordinary.
Sergeant DC Smith and his team have to tread carefully as they investigate what took place, and Smith himself has to confront some difficult memories. Others, meanwhile, seem intent on getting him to leave the force altogether, while, despite his best efforts, his social life also becomes a little more complicated.
To top it all, Kings Lake has been waiting weeks for the snow to fall, in a winter that seems as if it will never end… This, the second DC Smith investigation, follows on from 'An Accidental Death'.
LUCK AND JUDGEMENT
When a worker goes missing from a North Sea gas platform, there seem to be just two possible explanations – it was a tragic accident or a suicide.
It does not take Smith and his detectives long, however, to discover that James Bell led a double life back onshore in Kings Lake, a life complicated enough to make him at least one dangerous enemy. Before the case can be unravelled, Smith must get a new team working together; Waters and Murray are still there but one of Wilson’s men is transferred to him, and the female detective constable from Longmarsh poses some unexpected problems for her new sergeant.
Together they begin to investigate the links between the companies and the people that bring ashore the oil and gas, and they also find themselves caught up in the seamier side of life that exists beneath Lake’s everyday comings and goings.
Jo Evison begins to delve more deeply into the story of the Andretti murders, and Smith himself has to face the fact that he might no longer be considered fit for duty.
PERSONS OF INTEREST
IN THIS BRIGHT FUTURE
Two weeks of rest and recuperation – that’s what the doctor ordered. Detective Sergeant DC Smith could listen to some music, make some of his own and maybe even catch up on his reading; he is almost looking forward to it.
And then there is a knock on the door.
It’s only his next-door neighbour but it is the beginning of a sequence of events that will bring him face to face with some of the darkest episodes and the most dangerous people from his own past. This is Smith’s fifth investigation but this time it’s personal.
THE RAGS OF TIME
Mark Randall lay dead in a field near Lowacre long before Smith had done what he had to do in Belfast. By the time he went back to work, the investigation was well underway. “It’s not my case” he says more than once, and he really doesn’t need it to be; he has enough to think about as it is.
But going around the Norfolk countryside dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, speaking to the local farmers and the Brothers of St Francis from Abbeyfields, Smith begins to suspect that the investigation might be heading in entirely the wrong direction. Arrests are made, charges are brought and Christopher Waters asks Smith if he has ever seen the wrong man convicted in a murder case.
The answer is yes, and the next question is, what can be done to prevent it happening again?
OTHER BOOKS BY PETER GRAINGER
“So I thought I might take up para-gliding. You know, buy one on ebay and just jump off a cliff one morning.”
Emily Willows is middle-aged, wealthy, widowed and bored. When she makes those flippant remarks to her son over coffee one Friday, she has no inkling that within a few hours she will be facing the most terrifying situation of her life. Neither could she have guessed that she will be confronting it with the enigmatic young woman who moved in next door a few months ago and who has hardly spoken a word to her since.
And neither of them have realised yet that after this meeting, their lives will never be the same again.
WRITTEN AS ROBERT PARTRIDGE
PARIS AND OTHER LOVE STORIES
These are not conventional love stories. A middle-aged man goes alone to Paris for a piano recital…another visits his dying mistress in hospital. A woman in a tea-room begins a letter of complaint to a dating agency while another dreads the seventieth birthday party of her uncle, the black sheep of the family.
These are stories about loneliness and loss, about disappointed hopes and hopeless dreams, about resentment and regret, about endings and in-betweens rather than beginnings.
So they are not conventional love stories – but they are, in some way, stories about love.
Since the death of her husband, Ruth Chapman has lived an increasingly lonely life, despite her job in the university. Her son lives away, she has just one person she might call a friend and certainly no lover, not after what she has learned about Frank since he died.
But the arrival of a temporary ice-skating rink outside her window one November morning begins to change her life in ways that she could never have guessed. A literally accidental meeting with Jean, its enigmatic French owner, leads her to question her ideas about the meaning of her twenty five years of marriage, about men and about relationships in the future.
By the time the rink leaves The Close, the ancient square of green outside her city centre flat, her life could be heading in an entirely new direction.
This novel is an exploration of one character's thoughts and feelings - sensation-seekers should download elsewhere.
Michael Asher, archdeacon of the great cathedral in the isle, is devout, intelligent and charismatic. If he becomes the new bishop, as some believe he should, he will take the church forward into a radical new age.
But ten years ago, in one moment of weakness, he made a mistake which now comes back to haunt him. As he finally confronts the demonic Lucas Devereux, he must also face the truth about himself – what he did to Anabel Lynn and the part he played in the death of Bishop Stephen.
And he must answer the question - how does a man choose between faith and love?
This novel is an exploration of one man’s faith and conscience; those in need of quick thrills should download elsewhere.
Peter Grainger, 43 – failed writer, failed teacher, failed husband, failed everything – decides to gamble the last of his money on a final attempt to produce that elusive second novel.
He takes a lease on a cottage in a remote Welsh valley, hoping to find the peace and quiet that he thinks he needs. Instead he becomes drawn into the lives of the people that own and work on the Afon estate. As he gets to know Helen Miller, the wife of the owner, and as her story too unfolds,
Grainger is forced to confront the true nature of his relationship with Alan and Ann, the married couple who have been his closest friends since their university days. As these two apparently separate worlds converge, Grainger begins to appreciate the wild beauty of the Welsh river valley – and the threat posed to it all by one of the Afon estate’s own employees.
Over this one summer, lives take new directions, and Grainger, much to his surprise, plays a leading role in those changes. Through it all runs the lovely river Athi, its changing moods reflecting the experiences of those that inhabit the valley.
In the peace and tranquillity of the woods at Pinehills on a Saturday afternoon, a mobile phone begins to ring.
The phone belongs to DC Smith and it isn’t unusual that the call is from Kings Lake Central police station; what is unusual is the fact that he seems to be the subject of an investigation rather than taking part in one.
What can the links be between a prisoner’s violent death in another county, the disappearance of two teenagers and the highest profile case in Kings Lake for many years?
As Smith and his team begin to untangle the threads, one thing becomes clear – they are dealing with some of the most dangerous people that they have yet encountered.