Millions of stolen, untraceable bank notes lie untouched in an old Victorian cottage, the hidden legacy of the Dolly Rawlins and her widows.  But the millions are not forgotten. Released from prison, Esther Freeman is determined to retrieve the money. And so too is Mike Withey, Shirley Miller’s brother and Audrey’s son.

When a fire breaks out at the derelict cottage, with a badly charred body inside along with what looks like thousands of burnt bank notes, it attracts the attention of the police and one young detective in particular, Jack Warr. Jack’s investigation into the fire, and the burnt body inside, coincide with an investigation into his own past. Adopted at birth, Jack discovers his birth father may have been none other than Harry Rawlins, a renowned criminal.

As he finds out the truth about his own identity, Jack finds himself becoming increasingly aggressive, stopping at nothing to find the truth – including breaking the law himself.


This is a really good read if you are into traditional police procedural stories. Lots of great character development and twists and turns though probably not any massive surprises. For me personally it is a bit old-fashioned, a bit The Sweeney, particularly in the language and descriptions but I loved it nonetheless.

Jack is the perfect main protagonist. Adopted at five years old by Charlie and Penny, he has never been interested in where he came from until now and what he discovers will change his life forever. Charlie and Penny are lovely as is his wife Maggie. In fact she is probably the nicest of the lot! As for Jack, we can’t have a perfect main character can we. He needs to be flawed and conflicted but do nothing too bad that we can’t forgive. Or can he? You’ll have to read it to find out.

What I didn’t realise is that this book follows on from Widows, which was made into a TV series in the 1980s. I’ve never seen it unfortunately. However, there is enough background that it doesn’t matter whether you have read or watched Widows.

Will I read the next Jack Warr book? Probably, though I think this will make a great TV series and as this is Lynda La Plante I expect to see it on our screens soon. Anyone who reads my reviews will know I love to cast the characters but this one is hard as most of my ‘favourites’ are too old to play Jack. I think Lynda already has someone in mind, though Richard Madden is a slight possibility but my money is on David Caves (Jack from Silent Witness) though he’d have to lose the accent. I know he plays Jack in SW but I just kept visualising him as I was reading.

Many thanks to The Pigeonhole and to my fellow Pigeons for making this such a great experience.

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