In the rural, English village of Heronsford, Eliza and David Armstrong live in the farmhouse Eliza was brought up in. Her now elderly mother lives in a small converted barn close by.
Surrounded by friends, the Armstrong’s appear to have an idyllic life. But when two members of their social group die in suspicious circumstances, a cloud falls over the village.
Are the deaths linked? And were they really accidents?
One of the villagers believes they have the answers and is prepared to risk everything to get to the truth…
A small village in the countryside, a close group of friends, a dead chihuahua, a couple of accidental deaths and all the suspicions that surround them are the basis for Florrie Palmer’s The Decoy. A renowned singer-songwriter (she wrote 9-5 Morning Train, the hit song by Sheena Easton!), this is Ms. Palmer’s first foray into crime fiction.
Now, if you’re expecting a gory, gruesome edge-of-your-seat thriller, you’re going to be disappointed. Instead, what you get is a thoroughly engrossing and very English whodunnit, with smart writing, clever misdirection and a cast of characters that are well-written and very, very flawed. It kind of sneaks up on you and you’re left feeling slightly confused and bewildered, and that, my friends, is a wonderfully refreshing change of pace for a genre usually filled with as much shock and awe as possible.
My one grumble is that it could be a little bit slow at times. There was a slight drag in the middle of the book and there was a time that I despaired that even after finding out the who, I’d never know the why. But even with those little complaints, I still enjoyed the smart reveals and the little twists you don’t really see coming.
It’s reminiscent of a good Agatha Christie, and while I’ve seen a couple of reviewers talk about a movie, I’d actually love to see this one as a limited series. I’ve already got a few casting suggestions!
What I Loved: Smart, engaging, quiet, with well-written characters. Lovely & twisty. A throwback, almost, to older murder mysteries ala Agatha Christie.
What I Didn’t Love: It dragged a little in the middle and could be slow to connect threads.
Conclusion: A smart, easy and quiet read with some great twists.
I was provided this book for free by Bloodhound Books (via the Publisher) in return for my honest opinion. Please note that some links in this book may be affiliate links to help us keep the lights on :)