Valley of the Shadow

Written by Carola Dunn
Review by Barry Webb

Valley of the Shadow is the final part of the trilogy of Cornish mysteries written by Carola Dunn. The familiar characters of Eleanor Trewynn and her niece, Detective Sergeant Megan Pencarrow, return. Whilst walking on the north Cornish coast, Eleanor, her friend and neighbour, the painter Nick Gresham, together with Teazle the dog, become involved in the rescue of a man in difficulties at sea. When saved from the water he is discovered to be Asian and, half-drowned, he is taken to hospital. Concussed and delirious, he briefly shouts out in English that his family is trapped in a cave and his mother is very ill. A concentrated search is launched by the police and Royal Navy lifeboats to attempt to discover the whereabouts of the family. Detective Inspector Scumble of CaRaDoC – Cornwall Royal Duchy Constabulary – presumes they are illegal refugees from East Africa, abandoned by the people who brought them into the country. Meanwhile, Eleanor goes amongst the local community of fishermen, asking questions to ascertain if there are hidden caves along the coastline. The story makes for an interesting and easy to read novel with witty dialogue and well-drawn characters.