I've always enjoyed reading crime novels with strong police detective characters and over the years have read a good few Inspector Morse, Jack Frost and Rebus novels. More recently I've read a couple of Anne Cleeves' DCI Vera Stanhope and Laura Wilson's Inspector Stratton novels and enjoyed reading them all. I first encountered Linda Gruchy's DI Hedley and DS Connor in her short story Burden of Proof which gives some of the background to these characters and I was looking forward to reading her full length novel Death in Spigg's Wood featuring this detective team.
I wasn't disappointed and found it to be a substantial plot with a number of unexpected twists and turns. Linda Gruchy's plotting skills are extremely good. The inevitable coincidences are convincing and the police procedural aspects appear to be very well researched and add interest to the novel. The story centres on Meg Rusher, a contented wife, mother and home-maker with an unexpected facility for kick boxing and pistol shooting. When she shoots and wounds one man and seriously injures another it's hardly surprising that despite her claims of self-defence the police cast her as a possible criminal. Linda Gruchy has written the novel from both perspectives: the police investigative team and through Meg's own diary entries. This gives the novel variety, sustains interest and provides contrast. The novel works well and although occasionally the writing style slows down the pace of the plot it soon picks up again and overall Spigg's Wood is a real page-turner. I shall definitely be taking a look at Death in Flitbury Marshes by this author when time allows.