A Wake of Crows by Kate Evans

Donna Morris has chosen to leave her family home in Kenilworth and serve her probationary year as a detective in Scarborough, on the North Yorkshire coast. The book immediately appealed to me as I have spent a lot of time in Scarborough and the east coast over the years. The descriptions of the town and surrounding areas are first class.

On her very first day she attends a crime scene where a rough sleeper has been found dead in local woods. She is inducted onto the investigation team and it initially appears that the man died of his own drug use and had, until recently, worked for a local GCHQ on the Russian section. He was born in Germany and this discovery alerts Donna to things which happened to her younger self, drawing her deeper into the investigation. The postmortem fails to specify the exact cause of death, but bruising and a mysterious needle mark add to the mystery. The book reveals layers of the story well as it progresses, always hinting at Donna’s past.

One of reasons Donna has left her husband of twenty five years and picked Scarborough is because her daughter, Elizabeth, is serving time in a prison nearby and she wishes to support her.

Donna, now in her early fifties, has always hidden her past and this case begins to reveal things she has kept secret for over thirty years.

Initially, I struggled with the point of view and the short sharp sentences but as I read on, the story drew me in and I began to appreciate the authors writing style. The descriptions of people and places are excellent and push the story along nicely. Some readers may think it over descriptive but I feel it was part of the author’s voice and, for me, pulled me into scenes.

The story flips back and forth and slowly unveils her secret past but is easy to follow and understand. The narrative took me in a completely different direction to where I expected it to go so well done the author.

Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for this chance to read a review copy of this book.

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