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Under a Silent Moon    by Elizabeth Haynes order for
Under a Silent Moon
by Elizabeth Haynes
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2015 (2014)
Hardcover, Softcover, Audio
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Under a Silent Moon opens on a farm outside a small English village. A lovely young woman has been found in the cottage in which she lived, with blood spattered walls and floor, and her body hacked to death. In the same period of time, an older woman's body is found in a car that had fallen or been driven into a local quarry - at first a suspected suicide. Can these two deaths be connected? If so, how?

Elizabeth Haynes, author of Under a Silent Moon, has chosen to bypass the normal guidelines of a murder mystery and has used source documents to mark the progression of the investigation of these two deaths. DCI Louisa Smith heads up the work, doling out various seemingly innocuous work details for each of her team details that might help to solve the murders.

Many characters are involved in Under a Silent Moon and Haynes has carefully given each traits which makes them more human than many of their counterparts in other mystery novels. The paperwork used to document the findings as the investigation ensues is fascinating, revealing the painstaking work that helps to solve crimes.

This mystery holds a number of players who might be held responsible for one or both of the murders. It is more than just deciding who is sleeping in whose bed. The investigation goes deeper than that. The relationships amongst the family that lives on the farm and those who run the stables are tenuous and apt to change from day to day. Each and every suspect has a secret to hide; guilt with which to deal; remorse. As well as thinking that they might have solved a big problem by killing, and how they hope to escape retribution.

Elizabeth Haynes has written three other novels, one of which Into the Darkest Corner was selected as Amazon UK's best book of 2011.

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