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The Drowning Ground    by James Marrison order for
Drowning Ground
by James Marrison
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Chief Inspector Guillermo Downes left his native Argentina for what he thought would be the placid English countryside. As we all know, the plans of mice and men oft gang astray. Downes' plans surely did.

Wealthy farm owner Frank Hurst is found on his property with a pitchfork through his neck! His first wife had died in a swimming accident. Of course, because the man was not well-liked, rumors swept the village that the drowning was no accident. Two young brothers drown in an ice covered pond. Hurst's daughter managed to save herself but could only watch the two boys drown. Two young girls disappear, never to be seen again.

Frank has made his home into a veritable fortress bars on the windows and doors, windows boarded up. Shortly after Hurst's death, his house is set afire arson and burns to the ground. Chief Inspector Downes had promised the parents of the missing girls that he would find their daughters. He is finding this promise hard to keep.

The Drowning Ground by James Marrison is full of suspense and intrigue. The routine of village life is splendidly captured. Interesting and believable characters abound. This mystery novel will keep you awake until late at night, literally hard to put down. It will also keep you alert until near dawn for any unrecognizable sounds.

This is the author's first novel!! Which is hard to accept. He expresses himself as though he has been at the writing game for decades, only getting better as he progresses. I look forward very much to more of Marrison's work.

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