Over the years, the residents of Shrewsbury have become used to the occasional flood – living close to the River Severn, it comes as no surprise. But the latest deluge stirs up more than just mud and silt, and the locals are horrified by what comes floating to the surface…
Coroner Martha Gunn is one of the first called to the scene when a body is found floating in a flooded cottage. Martha’s instinct tells her that this is a homicide – a hunch borne out by the post mortem. The victim is presumed to be the cottage’s tenant, James Humphreys, who recently went missing. However, when asked to identify the body, his wife Cressida is adamant that it is not her husband. Martha is left with many perplexing questions. Who, then, is the real victim? Why has he been murdered? And where has the real Mr Humphreys gone?
A tense and gripping mystery, River Deep is the first in a series featuring the coroner Martha Gunn.
About the Author
Born in Yorkshire and brought up in South Wales, Priscilla Masters is the author of the popular series set in the Staffordshire moorlands featuring Detective Inspector Joanna Piercy. She has also written several medical stand-alone mysteries. Priscilla has two sons and lives in Staffordshire. She works part time as a nurse.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
First Line: Nature is a free spirit.The River Severn is in full flood, and sections of the ancient city of Shrewsbury-- home of the venerable fictional sleuth Brother Cadfael-- are cut off from the rest of the world. When the rising waters flood the basement of a riverside cottage causing a corpse to be discovered, Coroner Martha Gunn is among the first to be called to the scene.When the post mortem proves that Gunn was correct in thinking the man's death was a homicide, the next hurdle is identifying him-- which proves much trickier than anyone anticipated.Widow Martha Gunn often feels like an outsider when faced with the bond her twins, Sam and Sukey, share. As coroner, her hours can fluctuate, so she has a Swedish au pair to help her keep their home and routines running smoothly.Coroners are not supposed to investigate a case, but this one is so baffling that Martha can't help but do some very surreptitious sleuthing. I liked watching Martha uncover information and then subtly work the police and the pathologist to look at the case from a different perspective in order for them to stumble over the clues, too.Masters packs strength after strength into this book. From the atmospheric city of Shrewsbury battling a raging river, to a plot that twists and turns around a dead man's identity, to a strong-willed main character. The only flaw that bothered me was the fact that Martha Gunn is the Empress of All Characters-- all the rest paled into insignificance around her-- with the amusing exception of her daughter Sukey and Agnetha the Swedish au pair who had an obsession with the rock group ABBA.After such a strong start to a series, I'm looking forward to reading more of Martha Gunn's investigations.