‘Moorings,’ by David Blake

When a decorated World War II hero is found drowned in his bath – not by accident, according to the coroner – Detective Inspector John Tanner and his partner (both personal and professional) Jenny Evans are pulled from missing persons duty to look into it. There are two surviving sons, and a pair of adult twin grandchildren. None of them seems to need money enough to kill the old man for the value of the decaying boatyard he owns. That’s the premise of David Blake’s novel Moorings, third in his Norfolk Broads police procedural series.

People kill for motives other than money, however. The suspect pool gradually shrinks as one by one the heirs are murdered, and in the end Tanner and Jenny will face the irrational fury of someone who has suffered an old, unpunished crime.

Moorings was an enjoyable, fast-paced mystery with appealing characters. I thought the plot had some weaknesses – there are a whole lot of coincidences, and the police procedures seemed kind of loosely observed to me (though perhaps their rules of evidence are different from the American). Also, Tanner and Jenny witness a particularly harrowing death that seems (to me) to affect them rather less than it should.

As in all the books, there’s a Bible passage at the beginning. And we are told that Tanner is weakening in his agnosticism. Which is always nice.

Recommended, for entertainment purposes. Mild cautions for the usual stuff.

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