After she is dismissed from her role as a detective in the Met, Robin Lyons is forced to return to the family home in Birmingham. Having to share a bunk bed with her teenage daughter, Lennie, is not ideal but at least she has a new job as a benefit-fraud investigator to occupy her time. Someone who is delighted to see her return, however, is Corinna, her friend of twenty years. When a tragedy occurs at Corinna’s home and her husband is declared missing and wanted by the police on suspicion of murder, Robin knows she must launch her own unofficial investigation into what has happened. With a possible connection to the disappearance of a local young woman, Robin starts to wonder how well we actually know the ones we love…

Having read several police procedurals lately, it was nice to read something that had the feel of this genre but with a slight twist. Robin, being a former detective, brought her policing skills to her new role as a private investigator, but without the jurisdiction of an official law enforcer. With a return to the Met a possibility, albeit a very small one, I enjoyed reading how she tried to exploit her police contacts, but also bent the law slightly to try to find out exactly what had happened at the home of her friend, Corinna.

I liked Robin and, in particular, admired her tenacity. She had a very interesting back story and one part, in particular, which was revealed towards the end of the book, was particularly shocking. There is definitely more to discover about her past, especially in relation to her daughter, Lennie, and I feel that this is something that could be explored in any further books in the series. The ending of this book certainly kept it open for a follow-up and I would be intrigued to see how this would pan out.

There were several plots running through the book, each as fascinating as the other. I liked how the plots merged, especially because they happened in a way I did not expect. My only criticism with Critical Incidents would be the sheer number of characters in the book. I did, on several occasions, have to stop to think about who was being referred to and how they fit in with the investigation. While this did not stop my enjoyment of the book, it did, at times, slow down my reading.

I feel that this could be the start of a great new series and I look forward to seeing what Lucie Whitehouse has in store for Robin.

With thanks to Matt Clacher  and 4th Estate Books for my proof.