Thursday, August 02, 2018

Salt Lane

Although Alexandra Cupidi appears in another of William Shaw's crime novels, she is the main detective in "Salt Lane." She has been transferred from the London Metropolitan police to the wild Kentish countryside after ending an affair with a married coworker. She and her teen daughter have moved into a small house on the coast. Alexandra worries about her daughter who seems to be depressed and who spends hours on the marshes, coming home later and later. The marshes lie very close to Salt Lane.
She is not very popular at the Kent station. She is quick to criticize and slow to praise her underlings. Jill Ferriter is the young constable assigned to her, and she is smart and ready to make her mark. Their first assignment together is to find who murdered the homeless woman in Salt Lane. Found in water, she did not drown, and cause of death appears unknown. When they inform her son of her death, they discover she spent the night at his house, leaving early in the morning. Salt Lane is many miles from London, so how did she get there?
The investigation becomes more complicated as they dig deeper and find it involves illegal immigrants working on farms throughout the countryside. Of course, more murders occur, and Alexandra foolishly goes off on her own to investigate. I felt this was a big flaw in the novel. She is not familiar with the surroundings, and when she worked in London, she surely would not go off on her own. The book shows an interesting aspect about immigration--the farm workers who will work for lower wages and bring in the crops. After Brexit, the number of these farm workers will be greatly reduced.

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