Short-listed for the 2002 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel
Detective Inspector David Bliss has been transferred from London, England, to Hampshire in what appears to his new subordinates and superiors as a move down the career ladder. His first day on the job begins with a murder: Jonathan Dauntsey, son of the Major, willingly confesses to murdering his father. It’s an open-and-shut case, until the investigation stalls when the police can’t find the body.
D.I. Bliss follows a trail of clues that lead him back in time to the point where the central presumption of the case - a murdered father - comes into question. Who did Jonathan Dauntsey murder, if anyone at all? As the mystery of the murder begins to resolve itself, so does the mystery of Bliss’s transfer from the big city to a small town.
James Hawkins was a Senior Lecturer in criminal law at a British police college and, from 1992 to 1997, Director of Education at the Canadian Institute for Environmental Investigations. His published works include 1001 Fundraising Ideas and Strategies for Charities and Not-for-Profit Groups and The Canadian Private Investigator's Manual. James has hosted more than sixty radio and television programs, both in the U.K. and Canada. He is a resident of Newmarket, Ontario and is the owner of The Corner Coffee House and Corner Gallery.
Hawkins does an excellent job of keeping the tension high in the bliss-bomber plot, while weaving a real brainteaser around the murder.