Sarah Bain and her friends Lord Hugh Staunton and Mick O’Reilly are crime scene photographers for the Daily World newspaper. After solving a sensational murder, they’re under pressure to deliver another big story. On a foggy summer night, they’re called to the bank of the river Thames. The murder victim is an unidentified woman whose face has been slashed. But as Sarah takes photographs, she discovers that the woman is still alive.
The case of “Sleeping Beauty” becomes a public sensation, and three parties quickly come forward to identify her: a rich, sinister artist who claims she’s his wife; a mother and her two daughters who co-own a nursing home and claim she’s their stepdaughter/sister; and a precocious little girl who claims Sleeping Beauty is her mother. Which party is Sleeping Beauty’s rightful kin? Is someone among them her would-be killer?
Then Sleeping Beauty awakens–with a severe case of amnesia. She’s forgotten her name and everything else about herself. But she recognizes one of the people who’ve claimed her. Sarah is delighted to reunite a family and send Sleeping Beauty home–until one of the claimants is murdered. Suddenly, Sarah, her motley crew of friends, and her fiancé Detective Sergeant Barrett are on the wrong side of the law. Now they must identify the killer before they find themselves headed for the gallows.
Review of The Woman in the Veil
The Woman in the Veil is an interesting tale of a newspaper photographer and her team that investigate the almost murder of an amnesiac. Named “Sleeping Beauty” by the press, she cannot remember how she came to be at the crime scene.
Sarah Bain takes an immediate personal interest in the woman and vows to help her. Sarah’s fiancé, Detective Barrett, is the official assigned to the case despite his work overload. Barret’s boss, Reid, is the slave driver who does not like Barrett or Sarah or her friends Hugh and Mick.
Sarah and Barrett will be at odds during the case. As the case develops (a murder occurs) the conflict both increases and brings them together. These two do not seem to be a couple that belong together. Going their own ways in the investigation, they don’t talk to each other.
In the meantime, Reid, the bastard, messes with the case. The may be a bit of a spoiler, but his personality is clearly defined up front, so I think it is okay to say, since I’m not mentioning how he messes with the case.
While the mystery was interesting and engaged me, I had a few problems with the telling of it. First, I felt the main character’s investigative skills are seriously lacking. There was not enough follow up or checking of stories. Facts seemed to come out long after they should have been discovered. Sarah and Barrett immediately made decisions based on unsubstantiated testimony. This is not me thinking this after I finished the book. This is me shouting at the protagonists as the story developed.
Also, there were quite a few too vague references to the past. I have not read books 1-3, so I needed details, especially concerning the 1888 Ripper case and Reid.
3.5 stars which will be rounded to 4 stars for review sites. The Woman in the Veil is a great mystery, and I think these characters have potential, but the solving of the mystery lacked credibility for me.
Through Netgalley, the publisher provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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