Ballantine, Jan 2003, 22.95, 320 pp.
Detective Chief Inspector Judy Hill and her lover DCI “appalling first name” Lloyd had to cancel their wedding because their baby came four weeks early. Charlotte Frances is an adorable cherub and her father is totally besotted with her while Judy is constantly worrying whether she should go back to work or be a stay at home mom. While pondering her dilemma, an au pair girl cries out that her baby has been stolen. The crime hits Judy hard because the seventeen-year-old watcher was not only negligent but also because she knows the infant and the mother.
At almost the same time accross town, Lloyd is at the scene of a homicide identified as Leslie Newton and an accident victim. Leslie's lover Ian Waring undergoes surgery after he is stabilized. There are many suspects but Lloyd really does not know who committed the murder. If it were not for startling circumstances involving the kidnapped baby, the case would have been solved much sooner.
Jill McGown writes some of the best British police procedurals on the market today and DEATH IN THE FAMILY is one of her better ones. The personal relationship between the two DCIs and their love for their daughter will appeal to fans that gain pleasure from a warm, well-written romantic police procedural. Readers will never guess who the killer is but they will be glad to see that an innocent person obtains the justice he deserves.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner