Missing Link by Joyce Holms: Book Review

A few weeks ago I quoted a short extract from Missing Link by Joyce Holms in a Tuesday Teaser post. This book is the 9th in the Fizz and Buchanan series, but it does stand well on its own and I had no difficulty in sorting out the relationship between the two main characters – Fizz Fitzpatrick and Tam Buchanan.

Fizz and Buchanan are an interesting pair. Fizz  is a lawyer, working for Buchanan and Stewart and Tam has recently left the law firm to work as an advocate.  Mrs Sullivan asks Fizz for help to prove that she is the person who killed Amanda Montrose, despite the fact that Terence Lamb has been convicted of the murder. Fizz immediately thinks that Tam is the person to investigate, even though she doubts Mrs Sullivan’s story:

Daft as the whole story line appeared on the surface, there was something about the old lady’s matter-of-fact delivery that precluded too confident a rebuttal. She was delusional of course, there could not be the slightest doubt about that. Sane, mature and reasonably intelligent people, such as Mrs Sullivan obviously was, simply did not bash someone with a hammer. Not hard enough to kill them. … So Mrs Sullivan was probably fantasising about that at least, if not the whole damn incident. All the same she had Fizz well hooked and willing to hear the rest of her crazy story, if only for the pleasure of relating it to Buchanan at a later date. (page 23)

It had me well hooked too.

I liked the relationship between Fizz and Tam, colleagues, like brother and sister, but may be more than that? And Fizz certainly lives up to her name, a real live wire. The characters are well-drawn, even the lesser ones like Justin, the decorator who can cook delicious meals. Just how reliable is Mrs Sullivan? She seems physically incapable of  killing anyone with a hammer and then dragging  the body and pushing it over a sheer drop into a ravine below. But why when she appears to be gentle, motherly and sincere would she want to confess to a murder she hadn’t committed?

This is a well- paced novel, full of twists and turns and plenty of tension. The plot is well thought out and had me guessing nearly all the way to the end, in fact the whole answer took me by surprise. This is a book I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end.

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