Sometimes your past just won’t let go…
As a heat wave grips the country, DS Jenna Morgan is called to a domestic incident at the home of a young family in Ironbridge.
Pregnant Imelda Cheetham-Epstein has been found unconscious by her husband, Zak with serious head injuries.
When Jenna arrives on the scene, she discovers something even more disturbing – the couple’s eleven-month-old son, Joshua, is missing and the race against time begins to find him.
Is this an accident or something more sinister?
Are the two incidents linked?
Or has something in the Cheetham-Epstein’s past caught up with them?
Diane Saxon is back with a gripping new psychological crime novel.
I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
I’ve read all the books in this series so far, and it’s an addictive mix of police procedural and psychological suspense. The multi-layered plot encompasses a police investigation into an injured woman and a missing child. The second perspective is the antagonist’s gaining insight into their state of mind, and motivation which is chilling and compelling.
The story’s pacing reflects the steadiness and unpredictability of the police investigation and the intensity of the antagonist’s actions and moods. The police team dynamic is authentic, and the believably written personal interactions balance the noir crime themes.
The suspense builds to an unexpected twist.
Diane Saxon previously wrote romantic fiction for the US market but has now turned to writing psychological crime. Find Her Alive was her first novel in this genre and introduced series character DS Jenna Morgan. She is married to a retired policeman and lives in Shropshire.
Extract from The Ex – Diane Saxon
Emily Shenton punched open the door to the deserted ladies’ room with the heel of her hand and stormed inside before it rebounded off the wall and slammed shut behind her.
The emptiness inside still failed to block out the rhythmic thud of music and only dimmed the laughter and conversation of over eighty people at the company’s summer ball.
She hated them. Every single one of them. The gossipmongers who couldn’t wait to spread their vileness under the guise of good wishes and happy vibes. When they knew. They all knew.
Temper spilled from her. A foetid pus spreading from the core of her in a boiling, seething mass.
She tipped her head back and drank straight from the full bottle of rosé she’d swiped from a deserted table on her way past. No one would notice, no one would care. She’d no idea why the company insisted on paying for so much wine – red, white and rosé – when most of the men wanted beer, for God’s sake. The women preferred red or Prosecco and the rosé was left for the waiters to sweep away at the end of the night. Lucky bloody waiters.
She stepped into the oversized disabled cubicle and balled up the skirt of her black gown with one hand as she slapped her back against the chill of the wall and slid down until her backside met the floor. Sweat slicked the back of her knees as she pressed them flat to the floor tiles to absorb every bit of coolness. Heat pulsed through her chest and up her neck as she tore into the fine organza material of the overskirt, ripping weak nails until they were jagged. Tears burnt the back of her eyes as she ground her teeth and took another slug of wine.
She wished she’d never come. Wished she’d never overheard it. That’s why she avoided these functions like the plague. She hated the gossip, preferred to keep to herself and block out the voices. But she’d felt good. Strong.
So strong, she’d decided not to take her medication.
Tears filled her eyes and washed over her vision.
It wasn’t lack of medication that had her temper surging. It was the damned infernal gossip.
Why couldn’t they keep their mouths shut?
They had to know she’d been stood on the edge of the circle when Chris Whittington raised his glass and hee-hawed like the ass he was as he brayed his drunken words. ‘Here’s to Zak Cheetham-Epstein and his new wife, Imelda.’
Nausea clawed the back of her throat.
How was it so many of them knew Zak, had evidently kept in contact?
Zak. The love of her life. The only man she’d truly loved.
There’d been others before him, of course there had, but they’d faded into insignificance in the heat of her adoration for Zak.
The bottle clinked as she placed it on the tiled floor at her side. She covered her face with her hands, a helpless moan slipped from her lips as the familiar hissing sound swirled around her head. ‘For God’s sake!’ She tried to push it back, but it was insistent. The sound of a seashell shushing, filling her mind so she could no longer concentrate. She rolled her head from side to side, her hot, florid face couched in the palms of her sweaty hands.
She’d never forgive him for leaving. Leaving the company.
But she knew. Knew he still loved her. He had to.