No-one knew their names, the bodies found in the water. There are people here, in plain sight, that no-one ever notices at all.
DS Alexandra Cupidi has done it again. She should have learnt to keep her big mouth shut, after the scandal that sent her packing - resentful teenager in tow - from the London Met to the lonely Kent coastline. Even murder looks different in this landscape of fens, ditches and stark beaches, shadowed by the towers of Dungeness power station. Murder looks a lot less pretty.
The man drowned in the slurry pit had been herded there like an animal. He was North African, like many of the fruit pickers that work the fields. The more Cupidi discovers, the more she wants to ask - but these people are suspicious of questions.
It will take an understanding of this strange place - its old ways and new crimes - to uncover the dark conspiracy behind the murder. Cupidi is not afraid to travel that road. But she should be. She should, by now, have learnt.
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William Shaw is one of the great rising talents of UK crime fiction. This is his best book to date, instantly engaging, beautifully written with really well observed and rounded characters.
Salt Lane is taut, terrifying and timely; the emotional tension never slackens.
A web of events that reverses readers’ expectations: Rather than having all their roots in the distant past, these crimes have more to do with the evils and inequities of the modern world.
Shaw’s new novel is a gripping mystery and also a study of the rural-urban divide... suspenseful and spine-chilling.
A sharp eye for detail, turned on 21st-century phenomenon of people-trafficking. There are some touching moments in this vivid tale, which recognises that decent people don't always behave well
A fine police heroine emerges in Detective Alexandra Cupidi... living in the shadow of the power station at Dungeness is a splendid backdrop for a troubled detective... Cupidi discovers the deep shadows that lie across the landscape of her new home
Salt Lane was my introduction to William Shaw, and when I finished it I instantly went to his backlist. He is a meticulous, thoughtful and insightful writer. I can’t wait for Sgt. Cupidi’s next case.