Death under a little sky

Stig Abell

Book - 2023

"A detective ready for a new life... For years, Jake Jackson has been a high-flying detective in London. But then one day he receives a letter from his reclusive uncle - he has left Jake his property in the middle of the countryside. For Jake, it is the perfect opportunity for a fresh start. A rural idyll the stuff of dreams... At first, life in the middle of nowhere is everything Jake could wish for. His new home is beautiful, his surroundings are stunning, and he enjoys getting back to nature. A death that disrupts everything... But then, what starts as a fun village treasure hunt turns deadly, when a young woman's bones are discovered. And Jake is thrust once again into the role of detective, as he tries to unearth a dangerous ...killer in this most unlikely of settings." --

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MYSTERY/Abell Stig
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Detective and mystery fiction
Thrillers (Fiction)
New York : Harper Collins Publishers [2023]
Main Author
Stig Abell (author)
First U.S. edition
Physical Description
344 pages : map ; 21 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Abell (How Britain Really Works), former editor of the Times Literary Supplement, makes his fiction debut with this impressive mystery about a London DI who's dragged out of early retirement. Det. Insp. Jake Jackson's uncle Arthur has died, leaving Jackson a large estate in a remote slice of the British countryside, plus enough money to live on without working. With Jackson's personal life at a crossroads following the end of his marriage, he eagerly snaps up the opportunity to leave the city and enjoy some solitude. His new routine of swimming in the property's lake and thumbing through crime novels is disrupted, however, by the discovery of human remains during an annual local treasure hunt. When it becomes clear that the bones may be linked to a decade-old cold case, Jackson teams up with Liva, the local veterinarian--with whom he senses some romantic sparks--to investigate. Abell attacks the familiar setup with mesmerizing prose (in a prologue, he describes the setting as "too forgiving for those with malign intent, you can disappear into the twilit softness with great, alarming ease") and a devilishly constructed plot. Kate Atkinson fans will be in heaven. Agent: Cathryn Summerhayes, Curtis Brown. (Jan.)

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A former London police detective who's fled his life and failed marriage by moving to his wealthy late uncle's house in the English countryside investigates a cold case no one wants to talk about. Jake Jackson is so eager to drop out of society at age 38 that he retires his cell pho embraces his new home's lack of internet connection, radio, and phone li and, in the odd absence of a bath, shower, or washing machine, bathes and cleans his clothes in a lake. The nearest town isn't close. He spends time reading mystery novels from his uncle's vast library, naming local landmarks after crime lit favorites: Spenser Brook, Chandler Lake, Agatha Wood, etc. But when the bones of Sabine Rohmer, who died 10 years ago on a nearby farm in an apparent accident, are discovered in a bag in the town's annual St. Aethelmere's Day treasure hunt, he collaborates with the police in trying to determine who removed them from her grave--and replaced them with someone else's remains. In the process he gets himself and local veterinarian Livia Bennett, his new friend and potential love interest, threatened by bullies, including Sabine's onetime lover. Are the brutes trying to cover up what was in fact a murder? This cozy-ish novel, British media personality Abell's first, boasts a familiar but niftily handled plot enhanced by poetic descriptions of the surroundings. Though Jake comes across as a nervous amateur detective rather than someone with actual police experience (in a tense moment, he envisions what Jack Reacher would do), he is an engaging narrator. And though his and Livia's lust for each other is teased to an extreme, their scenes together are consistently enjoyable in an adult way. One looks forward to the sequel that's been announced. A congenial mystery with a fresh approach. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.