The Breaker by Minette Walters
Sunday, Jun 2, 2013
Brutally raped and murdered, Kate Sumner’s body washes ashore on a remote bank in Southern England. Elsewhere, her 3-year-old daughter is found abandoned. The police are left to figure out why Kate was murdered but Hannah, a witness to the crimes, was left unharmed. Did the killer know or sense that Hannah was unable to speak and communicate the events she witnessed? Why was Kate so far from home, and why on board a boat when she hated sailing? Was Kate’s husband, William, really where he said he was, out of town on business? What about their relationship—was it as good as William describes it? As William talks more and more about how happy Kate was, police find more discrepancies between his version and reality. What about the actor who initially called police? His boat just happened to be docked near where Hannah was found, and he just happened to be walking near where her body was discovered. Were they having an affair, was she stalking him, or was he angry with her for some reason? More questions than answers surface, until the local police constable, Ingram, doggedly chases down facts. Meant to keep the reader guessing, information leading to a strong suspect shifts frequently, as police hone in on what really happened. While the subject matter is dark and of a disturbing nature, Walters handles it well without excessive drama. The unpleasant nature of the mystery is balanced out by the entertaining courtship between a local woman and Constable Ingram.