Publication Date: August 1, 2015
When surmised threats turn to violence on James Palmer’s farm, DCI Peter Hatherall is charged with uncovering the viciously vengeful culprit before the attacks turn deadly.
Point of No Return is surprisingly complex English cozy/police procedural mystery. The story starts two years in the past with Digby, a man falsely accused of a crime and wallowing in the pits of despair. His downward spiral is so poetically tragic and his decisions so succinctly thought out that it drags the reader into the story in thrilleresque-way reminiscent of the best of John Sandford’s baddies.
Despite the intense energy of the opening, two years later, there is active disinterest in the case until attacks start happening that seem connected with what was deemed a tragic accident. The protagonists are forced to look into the past to find if the attacker is looking for vengeance in the deaths involved or using the event to distract from other suspects. Not typical to the cozy genre, the attacks are vicious and deadly. Not helping the investigation is the relationship between Hatherall, his partner and his boss. The only character not fully realized is the boss, who is a bit direct from central casting when it comes to a thorn in the side characters. The sexual tension between Hatherall and his partner is promising of what might happen “off screen” but in the story, the characters are all business and following up on leads which, personally; I love in a good, solid, mystery story. Humanity is nice but with well-rounded characters, buoyed by allowing the reader to see the story from multiple perspectives, plot twists are delicious.
Point of No Return is the second book in the DCI Peter Hatherall series (I have not read the first) and the author’s familiarity with the main character and his well-established relationships play out with clear motivations and with little explanation. Febry’s style is to paint a complete picture with setting as a background character in the piece. There are familiar sights and smells. The setting contains rolling hill and familiar but fresh English countryside; fresh wild garlic and lush, green grass; the sort of setting where ugliness is a vivid mark. The perfection of editing and practiced language lend a hand to a fast and engrossing story.
“So,” you might be asking, “you keep calling this a cozy mystery but is it really?” It is. There are psychologically graphic aspects but the violence is strategic. The protagonist is a master of disguise and delightfully different. I really enjoyed reading Point of No Return and if you like English mystery, cozies, solid writing or just good stories, pick it up today.
Read an excerpt and buy Point Of No Return by Diana J. Febry on