Wednesday, January 31, 2018

"Half-Life" by Kate Ellis

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, January-February 2018, p. 95–105

An "incident" at a nuclear power station brings PC George Jenkins to Primrose Cottage to evacuate elderly Rosa Cage. Jenkins has a personal reason to visit, too: the chance to gain insight into his father, who disappeared before George was born.

From Jenkins' viewpoint, we read letters his father wrote his mother while staying at the cottage in 1965, helping to build the power station, and we follow the present questioning of potential witnesses to his father's stay. Ellis also lets us into Rosa Cage's patchy mental state, which effectively deepens the mystery, and a third and final viewpoint, PC Karen Dawson, who arrives to back up Jenkins when Cage proves a challenge.

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