DI Ben Kitto needs a second chance. After ten years working for the murder squad in London, a traumatic event has left him grief-stricken. He’s tried to resign from his job, but his boss has persuaded him to take three months to reconsider.
Ben plans to work in his uncle Ray’s boatyard, on the tiny Scilly island of Bryher where he was born, hoping to mend his shattered nerves. His plans go awry when the body of sixteen year old Laura Trescothick is found on the beach at Hell Bay. Her attacker must still be on the island because no ferries have sailed during a two-day storm.
Everyone on the island is under suspicion. Dark secrets are about to resurface. And the murderer could strike again at any time.
Also by Kate Rhodes
Hell Bay is the latest from one of my favourite authors, Kate Rhodes. This is exactly my kind of perfect read. Death on a remote island setting, with a small cast of quirky characters, a beautiful landscape and an enigmatic lead. Love the title, as well!
Ben Kitto finds himself on a busman’s holiday investigating a vicious murder. He is a London DCI, with his roots on the tiny island of Bryer, in the remote Isles of Scilly. Look up photos of Bryer, it is truly delightful. This is a place Kitto grew up in. It is an island with less than one hundred residents. The kind of picture perfect place, where people leave their doors unlocked. An island where everyone is connected. He has returned home to take a much needed break, after a work related trauma. He finds himself taking responsibility for the case of a murdered sixteen year old. The death of Laura Trescothick plunges this small community into confusion and mistrust. Who would want Laura dead? What secrets are the islanders hiding? Will Kitto be able to get to the truth in time?
This is excellent and compulsive reading. Rhodes brings her trademark warmth, intelligence and psychological insight to the drama. She introduces the island, in all of its glory and makes you feel welcome. It feels like a vibrant character, beating to its own rhythm. The sort of place, where hardship is normal and life is about depending on your community.
Our central character Ben Kitto is lovely. He is a man with potential. The sort of chap, as a reader you instantly warm to. He is clever and eager to use his skills. He is burnt out. He is haunted. He just needs time to work out the various things going round in his mind. We get to know him slowly, as he finds his feet on the island and investigates. He has a tough time viewing all of his friends and acquaintances, as murder suspects. He is surrounded by people he has known forever, who could have killed a teenage girl in cold blood. I really want to get to know more about Ben Kitto. I am so relieved this is the start of a brand new series.
This is the perfect read for anyone who loves a vibrant isolated landscape, as much as a twisted murder plot. It was brilliant and compulsive reading. Kate Rhodes never disappoints. Recommended.