RogerBW's Blog

Now You See Them, Elly Griffiths 06 July 2024

2019 mystery, fifth in its series. It's eleven years later, and the mods and rockers are threatening Brighton. But also a schoolgirl has gone missing…

Everyone was happy at the end of the last book, so to make them miserable again Griffiths has to jump forward. Max has found success as a film star, and is married to one of the Great Beauties of the screen, but comes back to England for a funeral and a possible film deal. Edgar and Emma are married with children, but she's regretting having to give up her job and be only a wifeandmother.

There's definitely more fragmentation this time; Edgar's now a superintendent and controlling the whole investigation, while still not giving up a bit of fieldwork, but several of the police characters get scenes from their own viewpoints, and of course Max and Emma have their own narratives. In that way it feels more like a TV drama series, with five or six main cast members each of whom gets to do parts of their own ongoing plots as well as participating in the case of the week.

The risk of course is that those ongoing plots may come to seem more interesting than the case of the week, and certainly there are developments at the end of this book that leave me impatient to learn more. Still, I think I'm mostly glad that Griffiths left the 1950s before she'd worn her inspiration completely flat on them; perhaps the Whitsun weekend of 1964 is an easy target, but Griffiths has done a bit of research on the mods and rockers rather than just writing them off with stereotypes.

Definitely more about the time and the people than about the investigation, but I've come to expect that from Griffiths, and I'm still finding these people interesting.

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Previous in series: The Vanishing Box | Series: The Brighton Mysteries

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