April Books 11) Unauthorised Departure, by Maureen O’Brien

Maureen O'Brien is known to discerning Who fans as Vicki, the first ever 'new' companion to join Doctor Who after the series began. She is also the author of a series of seven detective novels about London policeman John Bright, which started in 1989 with Close Up On Death and finished (for now) in 2004 with Every Step You Take. This is the sixth in the series, and takes Bright and his girlfriend Jude to the French Jura to get away from the stress of his most recent case. The lover of the owner of their hotel is gruesomely murdered, Bright himself becomes a suspect in the eyes of the local police, and Jude is faced with even worse problems. I thought this was exceptionally good. We really get into the heads of the two main characters, negotiating a new and fairly brittle relationship against the background of his job and the French holiday which is intended to bring them together but does not have that effect. There is a major plot twist about two-thirds of the way through which I really did not see coming. O'Brien's writing is as gripping as Ian Rankin's, and sexier. I shall start looking out for the other books in the series.