Quigley, Sheila - 'Living on a Prayer'
Just before Christmas, in the Northern town of Houghton-le-Spring, a teenage boy is found hanging from a tree. His mother insists he would never commit suicide, but no-one seems to believe her. DI Lorraine Hunt, thinks it's just a grieving mother's denial, but she takes a closer look anyway. The dead boy's friends seem to know more than they are admitting to, but they're not going to talk to the police. Then those friends start to go missing and it seems that someone is preying on the young people of Houghton-le-Spring.
This is a competent regional thriller, the third in the series, with a good feel for its setting, and an interesting detective. Lorraine Hunt is not a woman who worries too much about glass ceilings or discrimination - she just gets on with the job at hand, which is quite refreshing. I felt the main plot, concerning a quasi-religious cult, was a little cliched and the set of four teenagers the plot revolves around were a tad flat and stereotypical. I did also feel it over-egged the Northern-ness a little, particularly in the dialogue. This was a bit distracting in places and detracted from what was an otherwise interesting read.
Pat Austin, England