'DCI David Brock and DI Kathy Kolla, of Scotland Yard, find themselves pulled into a case of murder, a mysterious death among the houseboats that line the canals around greater London
'DI Kathy Kolla of Scotland Yard is called in as a matter of course by the local Paddington police when a woman turns up dead in what appears to be an accident. On her houseboat, Vicky Hawks is found by one of her neighbors having apparently succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning due to improper ventilation of the narrowboat’s heating system. But while the cause of death seems apparent and there’s no reason for Kolla to think otherwise, something about this death still bothers her.
'Meanwhile, her boss, DCI Brock, is wrestling with harsh budget cuts and a new Commander who is determined to make fundamental changes to the system—including limiting resources devoted to investigations. Struggling against the limitations imposed by the new order at Scotland Yard, Brock and Kolla find themselves pulling at the loose strings in the death of Vicky Hawks, trying to find out who she really was, what she was up to, and how her death might be related to another earlier tragic accidental death.' (Publisher's blurb)
With special thanks to all those who helped me with this book, especially my wife Margaret, Dr Tim Lyons, Lyn Tranter, Keith Kahla, Ali Lavau and the team at Allen & Unwin, and the unknown lady on the Regent's Canal who inspired my interest in narrowboats.
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking,
Fancy upon fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of your –
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bid of yore
Meant in croaking 'Nevermore'.
–Edgar Allan Poe, 'The Raven'