cover image The Murder Pit

The Murder Pit

Mick Finlay. Mira, $15.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7783-6930-1

Set in 1896, Finlay’s enthralling sequel to 2017’s Arrowood draws the investigative duo of William Arrowood and Norman Barnett into an emotionally wrenching inquiry. In London, Mr. and Mrs. Barclay hire Arrowood and Barnett to track down their developmentally disabled daughter, Birdie, who married pig farmer Walter Ockwell six months earlier and has not communicated with them since. When the detectives travel to the farm south of the city, they get a harsh reception and are alarmed to find that Birdie has suffered a head injury, which Ockwell, who has spent time in prison for attacking a man with a club, claims was accidental. The case gets even darker when the partners learn that three children have died on the farm, but only one was buried. In an inventive move, Finlay casts Arrowood as an alternative Sherlock Holmes, who, instead of relying on physical clues and logic, focuses on the psychology of the people involved. This is a welcome grittier take on a familiar genre trope. [em]Agent: Jo Unwin, Jo Unwin Literary Agency (U.K.) (Feb.) [/em]