It’s my turn on the BlogTour Without a Trace by Jane Bettany.
About the Author
Jane Bettany is the author of In Cold Blood, a crime novel featuring DI Isabel Blood and set in the fictional Derbyshire town of Bainbridge. The book won the 2019 Gransnet and HQ writing competition, which was for women writers over the age of 40 who had written a novel with a protagonist in the same age range.
In Cold Blood is Jane’s first novel, but she has been writing short stories and non-fiction articles for over twenty years, many of which have appeared in women’s magazines, literary magazines, newspapers and online. Jane lives in Derby. Follow @janebettany on Twitter
About the book
You can cover up the truth, but every murder leaves a trail… The rain was relentless. It stung Ruth Prendergast’s face as she dashed towards her house, desperate to escape the cold and settle down for an early night. But upon entering her bedroom, she finds a man, lying on her bed – a knife buried in his chest.
When Detective Isabel Blood and her sergeant arrive on the scene, Ruth claims she’s never laid eyes on the victim before. But with no sign of a break-in, how did the killer gain access to the house?
Then Ruth disappears, leaving Isabel and her team to fear the worst. Has their lead suspect escaped, or is Ruth in danger herself?
Forensic evidence at the crime scene is sparse, and it’s proving impossible for Isabel to make a breakthrough. With Ruth still missing, time is running out. But how can you catch a killer that doesn’t leave a trace?
In this second book in the DI Blood series Isabel is torn in two directions for the majority of the read. Family – career – family – job. Isabel is also balancing or trying to balance her own slightly fractured image of family, whilst solving this mysterious crime. Reconnecting with a father she hasn’t seen for many decades and meeting a brother, who clearly isn’t interested in gaining a sister. It all takes a toll on her and her own family.
There are perhaps parallels to be drawn between Isabel and the case, which becomes clearer further into the read. The question is whether it will help her to relate and solve the mystery of a dead stranger in a now missing woman’s bed
It’s a crime series that delivers a main character who doesn’t just live to police. It’s also a breath of fresh air to have a female lead way over fifty. It will be interesting to see where Bettany goes with that particular aspect of Isabel’s character. Perhaps delve into the lack of equality, the preconceptions and bias in regards to gender in powerful positions. Then on a more personal level has she really dealt with the betrayal and the secrets, which were part of her childhood and helped to form her into the woman she is now.
It’s a premise with plenty of potential. It perhaps needs a little more bite and a little less kumbaya, either way it’s one to follow.