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Secrets on the Fens: DI Nikki Galena #12    by Joy Ellis order for
Secrets on the Fens
by Joy Ellis
Order:  USA  Can
Joffe, 2021 (2021)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Secrets on the Fens is the twelfth in Joy Ellis's police procedural series starring Detective Inspector Nikki Galena in England's Lincolnshire Fens. Nikki, a no-nonsense copper with a heart of gold, is woken in the early hours to be told of a 'Romeo and Juliet strange' murder scene in Saltmere woods.

The bodies are found entwined, the young man's holding a red rose. Though it initially looks like suicide, it's soon clear that they were murdered, moved, and posed. And it happens again. Nikki investigates alongside DS Joseph Easter (who also shares her nights). Their superintendent (an old friend) turns a blind eye, but they can't continue like this for much longer.

These cases are especially hard for Nikki as the young women are around the same age as her own daughter Hannah, whose loss still devastates her. As she and Joseph investigate, her mother Eve and her close friend Wendy dig into a mystery of their own. They are determined to discover the fate of artist Robert Matthew Richmond, who disappeared in the Lake District.

They head there to learn more, but have barely begun their journey when they come upon another murdered and posed young couple. The investigation takes the detectives into the Goth community. They learn that two of the victims were offspring of rival gang families, and that another young man (Mickey, mentored by both Nikki and Joseph) has gone missing.

Suspense escalates in both investigations, yet both are eventually solved, the curtain finally comes down, and the episode ends on a high note.

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