In this scene, Jane Fitzroy, a female priest who was a major character in a previous book, is visiting a convent where she has spent some time thinking about her future. And I felt like I was there with her:
Silence. The most astonishing palpable silence she had ever known. It filled her with a sense of calm now, as it had done every day of the six months she had spent here. The silence had become part of her for that time, had lodged inside her, and something of it had remained for her to draw on even after she had left. Now, as she breathed it in and let it fill her again, she felt that she was topping up her inner store, to see her through the next few months. If it had only been a question of simply living with this silence, she would be here still.
Since the last book, Simon Serrailler has had a promotion to Detective Chief Superintendent and is the head of a special group called SIFT - Special Incident Flying Taskforce. They handle big, public cases that could occur virtually anywhere. Simon's sister and her family have returned from an extended stay in Australia. Lots of things have happened to the family and more will come in this book.
There is a person in Lafferton that is shooting young women. Many seem to be newly married or engaged and the police are scrambling to even decide if there is one shooter or more because different weapons and strategies have been used. There is a lot of publicity and the pressure is on to keep the residents safe. Adding to the confusion and dread is an upcoming local wedding for a goddaughter of the Prince of Wales. Simon has not completely bonded with many of his new colleagues and that is causing him to be even more "lone wolf" than usual. And in this storyline, he has a lot to manage, solve, and sort out.
There is a theme in this book regarding families and how they, and especially their children, young or older, deal with death, divorce, upheaval. Some handle it well. Some turn very dark and there are consequences. I found all of this very satisfying to consider. And yes, this entry into the series is a thumbs up from me.
I'm going to take a little break from Simon and company in the listening part of my reading. The next book is The Shadows in the Street and I'll look forward to it in a couple of weeks.