It’s difficult to write a detailed synopsis without giving things away.
Set in the late sixties (prior to DNA testing, mobile phones etc), The Woods Murder is the fast paced story of Inspector Crow of Scotland Yard and his quest to find a murderer.
Shortly after the horrific murder of 9-year-old Jenny Carson shocks an entire town, the body of local solicitor Charles Lendon (A womaniser and outsider disliked by many local people) is found with a skewer stabbed through his heart. Already with their hands full, the local police reluctantly call in Inspector Crow and his team to assist in Lendon’s case.
The more Crow looks into the murder, the longer and more complicated the list of suspects become until reaching an intense climax close to the end.
After the first few chapters I really wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book or not. I struggled to find anything about the characters that I liked ( character rapport is really important for me) and I also found it difficult to shift my thinking into the era this book is set in. But, I’m not one to give up on a book so quickly and I continued. And boy was I rewarded! It didn’t take long (about chapter 6 or 7) until I became hooked.
Rather than rely on the fear factor, (although there is a particularly intense scene through the woods) Lewis goes for the suspense angle. The Woods Murder reads like a good old-fashioned police drama, like the ones I remember watching with my grandparents on a Sunday afternoon. You spend the whole book playing ‘who dun it?’
Through a variety of points of view, the story is told, weaving a web of potential suspects, each one as likely as the next. It keeps you guessing right until the very end and each time you are sure you know who the murderer is, bam! – something changes your mind.
I also love the fact that it sticks to the story line. There are no real sub stories of romance going on etc. It means you can fully focus on the simple but thrilling crime drama.
It’s compulsive reading!
This is a recommended read for anyone who likes crime/police dramas. It’s the third in the Inspector Crow series and I’m definitely adding the first two to my TBR pile.