DI Joe Plantagenet and DCI Emily Thwait are called into work on a Saturday morning to deal with something “delicate.” Twelve years before, two fifteen year-old girls were seen walking into the forest and were never seen again. The necklace of one of the girls was found and, near it, an expensive linen handkerchief. On the handkerchief was a small amount of DNA, small but enough for a profile to be submitted into the national data bank. Twelve years later, the traffic division has arrested a man for a violation and, as part of the routine when an arrest is made, the offender’s DNA was submitted to the data bank. The situation is indeed delicate. The sample matches the DNA submitted when the two girls disappeared. It is a delicate matter because the DNA is that of Barrington Jenks, the area’s Member of Parliament.
Before they can familiarize themselves with the details of the case, they are called to 13 Torland Place. Students are renting the house and one of them is missing. Matt, Caro, Jason, and Pet had met in student housing and got along so well that they decide to rent a house together. But nothing has been the same since they moved in. They aren’t comfortable with each other, always on the brink of arguments. Matt is convinced there is something evil in the house. When Pet fails to come home, Matt is worried enough to file a missing person report with the police. He believes that she has been harmed.
When the students discover that the original name of the street on which they live was Valediction Street, they realize that they are living in the house of Obediah Shrowton, a man who killed his family and their servants in this place. Shrowton was executed but Matt is convinced that a crime in the nineteeth century is exerting a force on residents in the twenty-first century.
Plantagenet and Thwaite try to find information that will help them solve the disappearances of girls separated by a century. Then when other girls disappear, the police realize that there is a serial killer working in Eborby. Might Barrington Jenks be involved?
“What about kissing the demons?….”It was just something we used to say -… It just means living dangerously. Kicking over the boundaries.” Murder certainly defies boundaries.
Kate Ellis writes two series. One is the Wesley Peterson series, a detective inspector with a degree in archeology who uses his skills and that of his friend, Neil Watson, to solve crimes in the present and those uncovered by Neil that stretch back in time. This is a wonderful series, especially for those interested in history.
The Joe Plantagenet series has him working in the city of Eborby, a pseudonym for the city of York. Ellis, like Peter Turnbull in the George Hennessey series, makes reference to the city walls and the snickelways of the city. Those in the twenty-first century who live in the ancient city of York can’t completely escape the past either.
KISSING THE DEMONS is the third book in the series.
Kate Ellis writes two completely different series, both with interesting characters and satisfying puzzles.