Coroner’s Officer, DI Thomas Ridpath, finds himself involved in a race against time when three hands are discovered in a backpack at a former children’s home. With his superiors convinced that this is an unsolveable case, Ridpath must battle against those determined to see him fail while also working on a Presumption of Death case for the coroner. With the clock ticking before he is removed from the case, can he uncover the truth of what really happened at Daisy Nook Children’s Home?

This is the seventh in the Ridpath series and, arguably, one of the best. There is a very authentic feeling to these books, Ridpath being a likeable character who is finding it difficult to juggle his work and home life. Workplace politics definitely play a huge part, with Ridpath seen as an ‘old school’ kind of police officer, someone who is looked down upon by many of his superiors who are desperate to see him fail.

The plot is, at times, quite an emotive one, as you would expect from anything involving a children’s home. M J Lee injects a touch of realism by referencing Jimmy Savile and the fictional Operation Pharaoh, reminding us of the horrific crimes perpetrated by those who abused their positions.

Throughout my reading of When the Guilty Cry, I found myself clearly visualising each scene. This series (this book in particular) would make a great TV drama and I hope that, at some point, a production company picks it up.

This is a series going from strength to strength and long may it continue!

With thanks to Net Galley and Canelo Crime for my copy.