Death Wore White
by Jim Kelly
St. Martin's, 2009. 390 pgs. Fiction.
As Detective Inspector Shaw and his partner George Valentine scour the Norfolk coastline for signs of toxic waste dumping, a body washes ashore, afloat in a small rubber raft. Nearby, a line of eight cars is stalled on a back road by a fallen pine tree. The driver of the first vehicle is alone, dead in the driver's seat, and there are no footprints going to or coming from his truck. Are the homicides related? How and by whom was each victim killed? Kelly's elegant, complex puzzle plays out in the bitter blasts of a North Sea winter, Britain's coastline heavy with menace and falling snow. Both plot and character driven, Kelly's book, the first in a new series, is excellent reading for the dark of the year.