Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Detective's Daughter by Lesley Thomson

Genres: Murder, Mystery, Drama, Suspense, Thriller, Relationships, Family
Formats: Kindle
Pages: 470
ISBN: 1908800240
ISBN13: 9781908800251
Published date: May 1st, 2013
Publishers: Head of Zeus
Edition language: English
Purchase Link: Amazon

Kate Rokesmith's decision to go to the river changed the lives of many.

Her murder shocked the nation. Her husband, never charged, moved abroad under a cloud of suspicion. Her son, just four years old, grew up in a loveless boarding school. And Detective Inspector Darnell, vowing to leave no stone unturned in the search for her killer, began to lose his only daughter. The young Stella Darnell grew to resent the dead Kate Rokesmith. Her dad had never vowed to leave no stone unturned for her.

Now, thirty years later, Stella is dutifully sorting through her father's attic after his sudden death. The Rokesmith case papers are in a corner, gathering dust: the case was never solved. Stella knows she should destroy them. Instead, she opens the box, and starts to read.

Kate Rokesmith died on Monday, 27 July 1981 and her case would go unsolved into the cold case files. But detective Terence Christopher Darnell was determined to find out what happened and pursued the investigation after his retirement which would end on Sunday, 9 January 2011. 

For thirty years, the story would be dormant in police files, and all the people involved in Kate's life would continue with their lives. Her husband left the country, her four year old son landed up in a boarding school where he was bullied. For some life would continue normally, and for others her death would change everything.

When Terry dies of a heart attack, his daughter Stella, with her own cleaning company, assumes she will just clinically finish up his life and home, as she is doing with all her clients, never expecting to find what was waiting for her in his home. She believes they did not have a good relationship, her dad was married to his work, and she dissociated with him after her parents divorce. She did not really know him and felt no need to mourn his death at all.

To find the case still open and being investigated by her retired dad brought even more resentment and bitterness. How did it happen that she resented a dead woman this much? It was the murder case that ended his marriage and changed his relationship with Stella forever. Until she starts to read her dad's meticulous notes.

Between the time of his death and his funeral, her entire approach to life will be challenged, her memories rearranged, her values tested, and her mission in life changed.

There was thirty years of history in different people's lives that would open up for her. In less than three weeks, she would become something she never imagined possible and get to know people she never deemed necessary in her life. 

This is a brilliant detective murder mystery. Not only are there complete profiles of all the people involved, there are also the detailed memories of those who remembered the murder but never discussed what they knew. The secrets are stacked up, the veneer covering up the guilt, are polished to a satin shine. But Stella was not only known for her meticulous cleaning services, her ability to find grime in hidden places, she was also her father's daughter when it comes to detail.

This was a tremendous experience! Five stars for everything!


Lesley Thomson was born in 1958 and grew up in London. She went to Holland Park Comprehensive and the Universities of Brighton and Sussex. Her novel A Kind of Vanishing won The People's Book Prize in 2010. Lesley combines writing with teaching creative writing. She lives in Lewes with her partner.

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