The novel has a very satisfactory ending.
I find the end quite realistic as not everything is happy. The man behind the murders is apprehended, and it turns out to be the one Grace thought it was: Adam Kirkby.
I have to say that I am surprised the way Lance acts in this last part of the book. I liked the guy, but I have to say I didn’t like the way he went about Peter’s business. I think he lost the plot and did something quite reprehensible. He wheedles Robyn to pretend she has run away because he thinks that if her father, Leonard, were to fear some harm to his daughter, he would confess what he knows, and what Lance wants is for him to confess to Peter’s murder. I think he was way out of line here, and even when Grace finds out and confronts him, he doesn’t show any remorse. I think he shouldn’t have taken advantage of Robyn’s trust and clear crush on him for his own purposes however legitimate he might think they were. Grace follows him, intending to sort out the problem without involving the police officially, thus risking her career. I think Grace shows here that she is not so firm in her convictions. What Lance does is punishable with a prison sentence, but Grace does everything to cover his offence. Maybe if instead of Lance, it would have been someone else, Grace wouldn’t have been so lenient and wouldn’t have hesitated to report him. This shows that under some circumstances we are all liable to bend what we believe in. Grace is very fond of Lance, and he must have convinced herself that it was his grief over Peter’s death that has pushed him to the limit. I have to say that I was afraid for Robyn for a moment, because when she demands she wants to go home, Lance is a bit too pushy and even rough, and I was afraid that he might do something he might regret later. Thankfully, Grace appears and she tries to sort out the situation in a way that Lance doesn’t have to lose his job and maybe his freedom. What is quite unfair from my point of view is that Robyn never considers Lance’s actions irregular or wrong, but instead her thoughts focus on Grace and she blames her for what is happening to her.
The end of Robyn’s story is that she and her family are to go in hiding, starting new lives and having new names. Leonard will testify against many people who could hurt them, so the police is putting them on the protection witness programme. This will mean that Robyn won’t be able to keep her plans to do her A-levels and go to university, at least for the moment. She is angry and rebellious when her parents tell her, but she realizes that is the price they all have to pay. She was the one who opened the can of worms when she called Grace, and poor girl didn’t realize what that would mean to her life. I like Robyn in the sense that she has such pure ideals and when she thinks what her father is doing is illegal, she tries to do her duty. It is a good reflection of young idealism, but Robyn also has many contradictions within her. Focusing her anger on Grace is her way of shedding her sense of blame because deep down she knows that she is responsible for what is happening, and even though she knows it was the right thing to do, the moral conflict that her confession means is huge for such a young girl.
Grace also finds out who killed Peter. She doesn’t have to look far from the Kirkby’s family. Ivo gives her some clue about the police federation and some kind of money laundering that John Kirkby was involved with. So when John realized there was someone investigating the accounts, and that was Peter, he killed him. Grace knows she has not much evidence, which is what Colin tells her, but Lance is adamant and wants the person who killed Peter to pay. So even though the case is feeble, Grace agrees and they go to arrest John Kirkby. When the man is confronted with the two police detectives, he doesn’t let them into his house, and when he disappears inside, shutting the door, Grace fears the worst when a shot is heard. Right enough. John has shot himself, which Grace thinks is some kind of punishment. What a family, and what an end.
The last lines of the novel are quite intriguing. Angry, Lance throws his warrant, stating he is tired of everything. Does that mean that Lance will leave the police? I hope not. Grace is also tired of death and what her job means, but she answers to her friend’s words that she’ll hang out for a while.
Great book! Even though there were some fields I don’t know much about like guns, bullets, and money laundering, I could follow everything right, and I was never bored for one minute. I can’t wait for the next Detective Grace Fisher’s mystery!!!