cover image Dead Ground in Between

Dead Ground in Between

Maureen Jennings. McClelland & Stewart (PRH, dist.), $19.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-7710-5055-8

The intriguing fourth book (following No Known Grave) in Jennings’s WWII–era series featuring the gentle, observant Det. Insp. Tom Tyler, a Shropshire policeman, surprisingly opens with a 1643 scene from the English Civil War. An emissary for Oliver Cromwell’s Roundheads, hotly pursued by King Charles’s Cavaliers, buries a small sack of gold and silver coins just before he is killed. Jennings then takes readers to 1942, when a befuddled old man unearths the long-lost coins and is soon after found dead. Tyler wants to question the two children who found his body, but the case gets more complicated when they go missing. The coins profoundly change the lives of all who come into contact with them, bringing violent death, destroying relationships, and highlighting all that is worst in human nature. Jennings vividly and authentically portrays a world of “land girls” (women who worked in agriculture to replace men who’d joined the military), war orphans, internment camps, soldiers (many of them injured and traumatized), and the ghosts of wars past. This is an insightful character-centric narrative that displays a sensitive understanding of human foibles, as well as delivering a satisfying puzzle. (Aug.)