Synopses & Reviews
A macabre discovery beneath Brighton's Royal Pavilion has links to the horrors of Pol Pot's Cambodia in this absorbing mystery
Ex-Chief Constable Bob Watts is hoping to ease gently into his new role as Brighton's first Police Commissioner but is hit with a shocking scandal involving the director of the Royal Pavilion. In the subsequent investigation, Detective Inspector Sarah Gilchrist and Detective Sergeant Bellamy Heap are bemused by the discovery of looted antiquities from Cambodia's Angkor Watt in the tunnels beneath the Pavilion, but the further discovery of a corpse gives their investigation a darker hue.
As does the arrival in Brighton of a man who was once caught up in the horror of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime. A man for whom redemption has become retribution.
"Guttridge's fifth Brighton mystery (after 2013's The Devil's Moon) combines a straightforward police procedural, told in third-person omniscient voice, with a nebulous second-person narrative, about a vengeance-obsessed man tracking down the mercenaries who killed his wife in Cambodia decades ago. When a prominent member of the Brighton community the director of the Royal Pavilion gets caught in a scandal involving the unearthing of long-dead female corpses, the police, headed by the formerly disgraced but newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner Bob Watts, discover a cache of invaluable relics looted from Cambodia's Angkor Wat hidden in the tunnels beneath the Pavilion. As Watts and crew investigate further, the connection between the two seemingly unrelated story lines becomes evident. The taut, richly detailed plot will carry readers along until the rushed and disconnected conclusion. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Taut, richly detailed plot" Publishers Weekly
"A clever puzzle" Kirkus Reviews
"Gritty and dark, the novel is certain to appeal to readers of the author's previous Brighton mysteries" Booklist
The discovery of looted antiquities from Cambodia's Angkor Watt in tunnels beneath Brighton's Royal Pavilion leaves DI Sarah Gilchrist bemused. The subsequent discovery of a corpse gives the investigation a darker hue. As does the arrival of a man once caught up in the horrors of Pol Pot's Cambodia. A man for whom redemption has become retribution.
About the Author
Peter Guttridge is the Observer's crime fiction critic, and a longstanding fiction prize judge and chair at a wide range of literature festivals and events. He lives in Brighton, Sussex, where this novel is set.