11 March 2024

Review: NOW YOU SEE THEM, Elly Griffiths

  • this edition published by Quercus 2019
  • #5 in the Brighton Mysteries
  • ISBN 978-1-78648-735-3
  • 351 pages
  • author website

Synopsis (author website)

Three girls have left. None have come back.

Brighton, 1963. Edgar Stephens has been promoted to Superintendent and is married to his former sergeant, Emma Holmes. Edgar’s wartime partner in arms, magician Max Mephisto, is a movie star in Hollywood, while his daughter Ruby has her own TV show.

The funeral of an old friend highlights just how much the gang’s lives have changed in the last nine years. Edgar is struggling with fresh responsibilities and the new swinging Brighton of rioting mods and rockers; Emma is chafing against the restrictions of life as a housewife.

Bob Willis, meanwhile, is tackling his biggest case since his promotion to DI: a schoolgirl missing from high-class boarding school Roedean. It looks like she’s run away; but there are disturbing similarities to the disappearances of a young local nurse and a tearaway Modette, neither of whom have been seen or heard from since…

A new world is dawning in Brighton, but the city’s dark side is as dangerous as ever.

My take

The disappearance of 3 young women who have left similar goodbye notes sparks an investigation. And then the body of one of them is discovered and is followed by the disappearance of Ruby Magic, Max Mephisto's daughter. Ruby has also left a note telling people not to worry. But Ruby has missed work, an left her cat locked up in her flat.

Meanwhile Edgar Stephens' wife Emma is very much feeling underused and left out. She was one of the first female detective sergeants  in the country, but she resigned on her marriage. Emma feels she could still make a useful contribution. In the long run it is Emma who eventually works out what has happened to the girls.

Set in the 1960s, the plot definitely shows how things are changing. Max has been asked to accept a role in a film with a film star of some prominence.

My rating: 4.6 

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