Within one day Detective Superintendent Colm McEvoy is sent out to two deaths. The first one is an anonymous Lithuanian, the second is old Dr Koch, a German billionaire in his 90s, the founder of a successful company. At first glance, Koch seems to have died a natural death, but the young officer who arrives at the crime scene suspects foul play when he notices some marks on the body.
Outside Koch´s unassuming farmhouse the police discover a noose hanging from an old oak tree. A gallows, prepared for Dr Koch, or some kind of message? Significantly, the noose is placed where the local gallows was in the past (nice touch), indicating that Koch´s death may be related to his past.
The hotheaded relatives are less than pleased when they realize they are on McEvoy´s list of suspects together with his Polish housekeeper Roza, his temperamental neighbour and two East Europeans, members of the Jewish organization the Yellow Star. The organization is on the track of a Nazi war criminal who used his expertise on chemistry in the Jewish Skeleton Project, a most horrible concentration camp experiment.
Colm McEvoy, a likeable and honest detective, has been a single father since his wife died of cancer a year ago. His twelve-year-old daughter seems to cope well and be happy to spend much of her time with her aunt though she can´t help worrying whether her hard-working father remembers to eat. McEvoy misses his wife acutely, and as he quit smoking a few months ago he is not only lonely and overworked, but also highly irritable. As a consequence, McEvoy rubs several people up the wrong way, suspects as well as colleagues, yet it may be a sign that he is ready to move on with his life that he shows some interest in Kelly Stringer, his pretty colleague with the shapely legs.
It was a great pleasure to read my way through the twists and turns of this exciting, yet quite realistic novel which is a highly appreciated gift from the writer. See my review of Rob´s debut, The Rule Book.
And to quote Norman of Crime Scraps, “Hopefully there will be a book three in the series.”