Coroner Martha Gunn is among the first to be called to the scene when a man's body is found in a small cottage fronting the river. Floating face-down in the rising water, it appears to have been raised from the cellar by the flood.
Cécile Bellange is a worried mother. Her 18-year-old daughter, Annabelle, and her friend, Dorothée, left Paris for a summer holiday in England, but the only contact from them is a postcard sent from Rudyard Lake in Staffordshire three months ago. Meanwhile, in England, brothers Martin and James Stuart find a note from two French girls, inviting the finder to meet them at Rudyard Lake. Their enquiries lead them to Mandalay, a guesthouse where the girls stayed, and its owner, creepy Mr Barker.
"A good procedural"
Just back from honeymoon, the last thing Detective Inspector Joanna Piercy wants to deal with is nuisance calls from an old lady ringing the police incessantly to report seemingly trivial incidents. The woman in question is Timony Weeks, a sixties’ child star in the once-popular soap Butterfield Farm, who lives in an isolated farmhouse. Is she putting on an act and wasting police time, or is someone really trying to frighten her?
In the peaceful setting of the National Trust near Church Stretton, Tracey Walsh drives herself and her four-year-old daughter, Daisy, up the remote Burway in the early hours of the morning, tragically loses control of her car and crashes into the valley below. Tracey is rushed to hospital, but where is Daisy? She has vanished, provoking an intense police search of the area around the Devil’s Chair – land that is rife with legends and stories of witchcraft, sorcery and unexplained disappearances.
On a bright spring morning, John Hyde opens the gates to the grounds of Moreton Corbet Castle, a local medieval ruin, and discovers the body of a homeless man with his throat slashed. Detective Inspector Alex Randall and his team soon face some disturbing questions: was this a random attack, or does someone have a vendetta against the homeless? For coroner Martha Gunn, establishing the man's identity is essential, but there are no clues.
When a woman arrives in A&E clutching a child in a pink blanket, Martha Gunn is not quite ready to make the discovery that the evening has in store for her. The baby has been mummified. A post-mortem reveals the child to be a new born boy, deceased for over five years. As always coroner Martha Gunn reserves judgement until she is able to question the mysterious woman who brought in the body...
When firemen are called to an intense blaze at the Grange in Melverley, they find the bodies of Christie Barton, her daughter, Adelaide, and father-in-law, William, along with evidence that suggests the fire was started deliberately. Detective Inspector Alex Randall enlists the help of coroner Martha Gunn, but the puzzle deepens with a second house fire - the occupant, retired nurse Monica Deverill, is missing. Where is she, and what links the two fires? The answers lie in a secret buried in the past…
Dedicated to her profession, DI Joanna Piercy has built her imposing reputation on thorough investigative police work. However, the job that once excited and intrigued her has now fallen into a familiar pattern of form filling and snide office banter. She resorts to formulaic solutions to resolve her cases, having seen the same situations time and again. But when a strangled body is discovered recklessly dumped on the Leek moorlands, she is forced to revaluate her stance.
"A complex British police procedural"
On a snowy December morning, a young woman is found outside Patches nightclub in Leek. Half dead from the cold, she says she has been raped. As Detective Inspector Joanna Piercy - fresh from a disciplinary action - investigates, she learns that Kayleigh Harrison has made unsubstantiated allegations before against her stepfather. But there are possible links to a similar rape case six months previously. Is there a real case to investigate or not? Kayleigh holds the key, but how much of her story can be trusted?
Callum Hughes has been labelled a killer and a psycho - by the press, by his classmates and by the family of the boy he stabbed. Roger Gough has been labelled a victim. He is described by everyone as a sporty, funny, and popular boy who was brutally murdered by Callum. But things are rarely so black and white.
For recently engaged DI Joanna Piercy, a murder is the last thing she wants to deal with. Especially one with as dark a back story as that relating to calculating landowner and farmer Jakob Grimshaw; a man who managed to make enemies of all his neighbours and what little family he still had. One thing is certain; Joanna has a tough job ahead of her.
"Some good story lines, needs a good editing"