A headless body found buried in a Welsh bog in 1955 draws the attention of an archaeologist, thinking the corpse may be very old. Then forensic pathologist Richard Pryor detects a tattoo of Batman on the corpse’s arm. The investigation provides a valuable chance to shine for Priscilla Chambers, filling in for Pryor’s partner, forensic biologist Angela Bray, who’s attending to her ill mother. As police seek the head and identity of the man, who appears to have been murdered, Pryor and Bray, back at work, gather evidence for the appeal of a woman charged with killing her abusive partner. Aspiring winemaker Pryor also is asked to assist a nearby French vintner with a problem that is tearing his family apart. Surrounded by women at work, Pryor is reluctant to start a relationship within his forensic family, yet he finds himself eyeing both beautiful, extroverted Priscilla and cool, elegant Angela. Retired pathologist Knight combines solid science and culture of the period and an attractive cast of characters in another entertaining entry (after According to the Evidence, 2011) in the Pryor series. --Michele Leber
The discovery of a headless body in a Cardiganshire bog prompts Welsh pathologist Richard Pryor and Angela Bray, his forensic consultancy business partner, to swing into high gear in Knight’s solid third 1950s mystery (after 2010’s According to the Evidence). Meanwhile, a new woman in Pryor’s life—Priscilla Chambers, a former medical associate of Angela—fills in while Angela is briefly away tending to her aging mother. An underplayed conflict arises as Pryor compares the two women, both of whom pose potential romantic interest. A couple of subplots involve a paternity question and an abused woman’s appeal of her murder conviction. While retired Home Office pathologist Knight puts the budding technology of scientific crime solving at the forefront, often at the expense of character development, this period procedural is not without its peculiar charms.
(Bernard Knight Publishers Weekly