cover image Woman with a Secret: A Zailer and Waterhouse Mystery

Woman with a Secret: A Zailer and Waterhouse Mystery

Sophie Hannah. Morrow, $25.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-238826-1

The murder of outspoken newspaper columnist Damon Blundy jump-starts Hannah’s convoluted ninth mystery featuring married British cops Simon Waterhouse and Charlotte “Charlie” Zailer (after The Carrier). Nicki Clements, a mother of two and a less-than-faithful wife who has recently moved from London to rural Spilling, carried on an online affair with a man she believes is Blundy (neither used real names). Clements attracts the attention of Waterhouse’s team when she speeds away from Blundy’s house, where the police have stopped traffic, outside Spilling. Waterhouse, who has become less likable as the series progresses, is obsessed with the message scrawled near Blundy’s body—“he is no less dead”—as well as the oddly staged murder scene. Waterhouse sifts through Blundy’s detractors, from a former British MP and potential lover to a disgraced sprinter, and Clements’s life slowly unravels. In the end, readers will struggle to care about any of these characters or their so-called secrets. (Aug.)