cover image Salt Lane

Salt Lane

William Shaw. Mulholland, $27 (464p) ISBN 978-0-316-56350-5

Introduced in 2017’s The Birdwatcher, Det. Sgt. Alexandra Cupidi takes the lead in Shaw’s excellent police procedural set in the coastal marshlands of Kent. Cupidi gets called out to a remote drainage ditch, where an unidentified woman was found dead of unknown causes. Nearly naked and with no identifying marks, the woman appears to have been in the water for about 10 days. Cupidi and Constable Jill Ferriter have very little to go on, even when they do get a name to put to their corpse. The stakes rise with the subsequent discovery of another body, this time in a farm’s covered manure pit. As Cupidi and Ferriter dig further into the deaths, they discover links to the 1980s peace protests on Greenham Common and the current opioid addiction crisis. Shaw does a fine job depicting Cupidi’s relationships with her teenage daughter and her mother as well as her partnership with Ferriter, with whom she becomes increasingly at ease. The combination of great characters and a gripping plot will leave readers eager for a sequel. [em]Agent: Kari Stuart, Curtis Brown. (June) [/em]