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A double murder is discovered in Spalding some days after it takes place.
The victims are Tina Brackenbury, the foster mother of Grace Winter, a ten-year-old who escapes the killer because she is staying her friend Chloe Hebblewhite's house at the time, and Tina's infant daughter. Enquiries by the police and social services reveal that some four years previously Grace was the sole survivor of the horrific massacre of her mother, grandparents and sister at Brocklesby Farm in North Lincolnshire, a crime for which her uncle Tristram Arkwright is currently serving a whole-life tariff.
Why did Amy Winter, Grace's adoptive mother, send her to live with a foster parent? Is it a coincidence that both of Grace's families have now been brutally killed? And is it possible that Grace's uncle, a notorious con-man, has found a way to contact her from his maximum security cell?
DI Yates and his team face a series of apparently impenetrable conundrums.
‘If you don’t usually read crime thrillers, I urge you to read this. In the Family is a unique hybrid of commercial and literary fiction. It is not a big and brash whodunit, nor is it a pastiche of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. It is nothing short of spectacular.’ —Heart of Glass Magazine
‘The clue to the essence of this book is in the title. It’s about the claustrophobia of families and the secrets contained within them. The book, for me, also had a strong ‘provincial’ feel. And I mean this in the best sense of the word. It was a book not about the metropolis but the lives of ordinary (or perhaps not) people in everyday surroundings. And it was nice to read something with such a strong sense of place.
The book is published by Salt, a small but discerning publisher and I think this book is an asset to its list. I hope book two in the series, which is out in June, is as good as this one.’ —Crimepieces
‘If you’re after a complex plot with some political and illegal undertones, plenty of suspicious circumstances and some interesting historical content, then give this a try.’ —Mean Streets: The Home of Crime Fiction
‘James specialises in mixing suspense-flavoured first-person and historical narratives in with the police-procedural. In Sausage Hall she uses Kevan's voice to narrate events from the point of view of a troubled family man. The history comes from the recovered diary of Florence Jacobs, a previous resident of Sausage Hall, which offer clues to the identities of the three bodies in the cellar. The police are all essentially public-spirited and amiable, with the possible exception of Tim's ambitious boss. This time, the tireless Juliet gets a richly-deserved romantic sub-plot.’ —Rich Westewood, Euro Crime
‘★★★★☆ A police procedural with a depth and some mischievous twists that go beyond the average procedural. Yes, DI Tim Yates is back in a third outing, investigating skeletons in the cellar and a body in the woods; great stuff that just gets better.’ —Ani Johnson, The Bookbag
‘I love the unfolding of a good mystery and Sausage Hall is certainly one.’ —Diane Challenor, Artuccion
‘★★★★ Had me fairly engrossed at all times ... Serious issues are touched upon regarding people trafficking, prostitution and exploitation.’ —Crimespace
‘A crime mystery with a sinister undercurrent exploring the murky world of illegal immigrants, and a well researched historical element.’ —BooksPlease