As the first door on the Advent calendar is opened, DS Hingston attempts to save the life of a teenager in a crowded London café, but ultimately fails. Seventeen-year-old Leanna Snow chokes to death.
Days later, a girl from Leanna Snow’s school is missing and another misper is found dead: his body hanging within the iconic Egyptian Avenue at Highgate Cemetery.
Working under the bombastic DCI Smythe and alongside Remi, his ex-girlfriend whom he still holds a torch for, Hingston discovers the magic of London this December is dark, deceptive and murderous.
Hingston and the Murder Squad are put to the test with this complex investigation that proves to be as mystifying as being asked by a magician to pick a card, any card, not knowing where you will be taken.
WOW, such a great start to the book, you are drawn in from that very first chapter. D.S Jason Hingston is in a London cafe waiting to meet his Uncle Zack who has just travelled up from Dartmouth,when a young girl Leanna Snow starts to choke despite his best efforts Hingston is unable to save her. is this an accidental death or is there more to it? On the back of her till receipt she had written insignificant pathetic several times, what did that mean?
Then another missing girl from the same school as Leanna along with another Misper in Highgate Cemetary. Are these cases all linked in some way? It’s not long before the investigation leads to a secret society, the “House of Life” the members seem to be at risk of death by either forced suicide or homicide.
Hingston is assigned to the team running the investigation, just one problem or maybe two it us run by the rather overbearing DCI Smythe, who is now dating Hingston’s former lover Remi, who is also in the team working this case. Which certainly adds some tension to the already difficult case.
This is a brilliantly written detective story, with some added twists. The case itself is quite complex as the team discover the somewhat disturbing acts being committed under the “House of Life” there are a lot of characters and lots of moving parts it takes some following. But the team get there.
I really didn’t like DCI Smythe but then I think that is the point you aren’t meant to like him, harder for Hingston as he watches his old flame with him, but is there a chance that Remi is not as into Smythe as we may think. Could Hingston have a chance of winning her back? There is another part that Hingston seems obsessed with which is the fate of a young woman in a nineteenth century photo, I wasn’t sure what this was leading to, whether it comes from book one or whether things will develop in the next book.
Overall this is a really good read, sucking you in and having you turning the pages as quick as you can. With a satisfying ending tying loose ends together. It certainly had plenty of twists to keep you guessing.
This is book 2 in the Hingston series, but this can be read as a stand-alone although I may have to get book one as there are a couple of references from the first book, plus I personally always like to start from book one and watch characters grow, get to know them.
I would like to thank the author @decimablake and @pegasuspublishers for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will be watching out for book three once I have read book one.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Decima Blake, author of the Hingston series, has a long-standing interest in child protection and is deeply passionate about child victims of crime. Hingston: Smoke and Mispers is the second in the series, following Hingston’s Box which was published in 2016. Decima combines historical research, real-life police procedure and a touch of spookiness to provide readers with an immersive experience as they join Hingston on his race to solve cases involving missing persons and murder. A percentage of royalties are donated to the charity Embrace Child Victims of Crime.