Three of these books are in the series set in Lydmouth, a sleepy English village, post WWII involving Detective Richard Thornhill, his ambitious underling Brian Kirby and other locals including Thornhill's on again off again mistress Jill Francis, a journalist, and their friends Philip and Charlotte Wemyss-Brown.
On the surface Thornhill is an affable man who is driven to mete out justice. Yet, as we discover, he has a complicated professional past when he was seconded to serve in Palestine and used as a patsy by his commanding officer. The horrors of that time resurface and push him towards a breakdown and a temporary leave of absence when he is forced to confront the truth that his young daughter's abduction is his fault.
THE LAST FOUR THINGS is a departure from the Lydmouth series and moves to London where Lucy Appleyard, the only child of a police officer and a controversial female priest in the Anglican church, is snatched from her babysitter. What is atypical in this book is Taylor provides the psychopath's point-of-view and manages to create sympathy for someone who certainly doesn't deserve it. There are predictable plot twists, but also a few that I didn't see coming, and one gruesome event that in its credible horror made me dissolve into the story and miss my bus stop. The ending sets up the second book in the Roth Trilogy which promises to be equally gripping, albeit upsetting, since "man's inhumanity to man" will surely be the fare.