Severn House Publishers, 1/1/14
Hardcover, 224 pages
Lambert and Hook series #26
Seven-year-old Lucy Gibson can barely contain her excitement when she learns that the funfair has come to town and Matt, her mother's new boyfriend, has agreed to take her. Despite her slight uneasiness in Matt's company and her upset over her parent's split, she readily goes off with him one evening, as excited as only a young innocent child can be.
The next morning, Chief Superintendent Lambert briefs DS Bert Hook and DS Ruth David on the disappearance of a young seven-year-old local girl from a funfair the previous evening. On questioning her distraught mother, it appears that Lucy has vanished into thin air and so begins an intense investigation, racing against time, to discover who took the young girl - and to prevent more children from going missing before it's too late . . .
Cry of The Children by J. M. Gregson is the 26th book in his Lambert and Hook series of British police procedurals.
The search begins for seven-year-old Lucy Gibson, who disappeared from the village fair. As Det. Chief Supt. John Lambert, Det. Sgt. Bert Hook, and Det. Sgt. Ruth David begin the investigation, the unthinkable happens: Lucy's body is discovered in the Wye River. Several suspects are identified. High on the list of suspects is Lucy's mother's boyfriend, Matt Boyd, the man who took Lucy to the fair and didn't immediately report her missing, but there are 4 other equally qualified, albeit ignobly, suspects. Fair worker Rory Burns has already reportedly tried to molest another young girl. Then there is 70 year-old Dennis Robson, a known pedophile. Big Julie Foster is a mentally challenged woman who they know longs to have a child to care for and love. Even Lucy's father, Dean Gibson, is a suspect. The police rush to solve the crime before harm comes to another child.
This is not a novel full of breath-taking twists and turns in the plot. What it is, however, is an excellent, very traditional British police procedural that moves along at a fast pace and will keep your interest right up to the end. Gregson did an outstanding job keeping me guessing. As I followed along the information and clues the police uncovered, I'm going to admit here and now that I didn't have a clue who the guilty party was for sure until the very end. Oh, I had some good guesses, but nothing was confirmed until the end.
Although I have not read all the books in this series, that wasn't a hindrance at all in my enjoyment of this latest mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.
Very Highly Recommended
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Severn House Publishers via Netgalley for review purposes.