When a musician disappears on a train heading into London, DCI Craig Gillard wonders why he is involved in a missing persons case. All is revealed when he discovers that the woman’s father is the German Minister of Justice and that this threatens to be a very high profile case. All is not what it seems, however, and soon Craig finds himself battling with a particularly sadistic killer – one who has his eyes set on the detective himself. This case has suddenly got very personal…

This, the fifth in the series, sees the detective taking on one of his most complex cases so far. I was drawn in from the start and loved how when I thought I knew in which direction the plot was going, Nick Louth completely changed tack, yet always managing to make the story flow coherently. Initially, what looks like a missing person case, very much in the vein of Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes, soon becomes a much bigger case involving subterfuge and murder and a killer with a grudge he believes he has to settle.

There are numerous shocking moments in The Body Under The Bridge, many of which I did not see coming at all. It soon became apparent that there was a shadowy character lurking in the background and that they had taken on many guises, but who was this person? I loved how Nick Louth built up this character’s involvement, without us ever knowing who they were, leaving me shocked when all was revealed. It was scary to see how many people fell under this character’s spell and there were several moments where I feared (quite rightly!) for the people they interacted with.

In amongst these shocks, there was one moment where my opinions of a character from previous books changed completely. If you have read the previous books in the series, you will be familiar with Craig’s auntie Trish, a fascinating if rather unhinged character. No spoilers, but her actions in this book genuinely surprised me and I’m looking forward to seeing how Craig reacts to these events in the next book.

This is a great series and if you’ve never read them, now may be a good time to start as the first book, The Body in the Marsh, is (at the time of writing) available for free on Kindle. You can get it here.

With thanks to Canelo and Net Galley for my ARC.