Detective Inspector Michael Angel of the South Yorkshire Police is at sixes and sevens. His wife May has called to say her mother is ill and she must leave for a few days to care for her, and Angel does not like disruptions in his schedule or his orderly life. And it gets worse. His usual No. 2 at the station is on a training course; the temporary replacement is clearly not up to snuff, although no one would likely be up to snuff. And then, here is this woman from Wales, Miriam Thomas, telling him that her sister, a nurse, is missing.
Angel’s inclined to throw up his arms in disgust when a curious report is made. A couple out walking at night in nearby fields surprise a man carrying a bag; he tosses the bag and runs toward one of two nearby houses. The bag contains the body of the woman, which happens to be the missing nurse, who’s been definitely murdered. When they try to contact the sister, they discover she’s now missing.
The Missing Nurse by Roger Silverwood tells the story of how Inspector Angel gradually unravels the case, a case with roots in the past and an incident at a hospital for the criminally insane 20 years before. The mystery novel was originally published under the title In the Midst of Life in 2004, one of 25 books in the DI Angel series and has now been reissued.
Silverwood was educated in Gloucestershire before he completed National Service in the U.K., and later worked in the toy trade and as an advertising copywriter. He worked with his wife as an antiques dealer before retiring in 1997. In addition to the DI Angel series, he’s also written three novels in the Cawthorn series and a general novel, Salamander.
The Missing Nurse is an enthralling mystery. Time and again in the investigation, Angel is thrown a curve, and steps (or plods) directly into the twist. We watch him slowly set the trap for the murderer and then spring it. It’s a fascinating story.