Chief Inspector Robin Bright has a new position on the Abbotston police force. His previous investigation uncovered high level corruption in Abbotston, a neighboring and rival town, and he’s been reassigned there to help weed out the bad cops. His partner in life and love, Adam Matthews, is the new deputy head teacher at a school where he didn’t discover a dead body—to be fair it only happened the once, but the only good to come of it was Adam and Robin meeting. They have both been in great danger in the past and they’re hoping that new jobs will be a fresh start that doesn’t involve kidnapping and threat of death.
It does, in fact, involve murder, though. Robin’s newest case is an unknown female whose partially decomposed body was found on an archeology dig site. The site manager is smarmy man who’s not only misogynistic, he’s driving a really posh car for a government employee. Also, his team of employees and volunteers have indicated some odd goings on with late-night visitors to the dig and forged artifacts that seem to have been introduced to the collector’s market. “Experts” seem to be climbing out of the crypt on this case, and Robin’s new colleagues aren’t focused on the culprit.
In the meantime, Adam and Robin have taken in Robin’s old colleague, Stuart Anderson, who—while a darn good inspector—is having trouble figuring out why his long-time girlfriend chucked him out. Stuart’s a decent enough guy, but he’s relationship-clueless, and not a conscientious lodger, either. Adam and Robin relish their privacy and having Stuart encroaching isn’t pleasant.
The more Robin digs into the mystery, the more Adam’s unsettled by leaks that keep hitting the paper. He sure doesn’t want their personal life in the gossip rags, and it’s clear there’s at least one informant within the Abbotston precinct. Still, Adam’s a great helper, gaining some insider info through new connections with local groups and parents of his students. And, as the main suspects in the murder all seem to be turning on one another, it’s up to Robin to determine which person—or persons—did the deed.
Two Feet Under is the third book in Charlie Cochrane’s Lindenshaw Mysteries series and is probably best enjoyed after reading at least the book immediately previous, if not both.
This is an interesting mystery story. Don’t expect steam—there isn’t any—but there is a strong bond between Adam and Robin. They have sweet conversation, which often includes Campbell, their perceptive Newfoundland dog. Campbell doesn’t have to rescue anyone this time, which is all to the good. There are fewer harrowing experiences, and more solid detective work, in this book compared with Jury of One.
I’m not going to go into the plot too much, but there are interesting devices at play, including misdirection and catfishing, that keep Robin, and the reader, guessing at who was murdered and who committed the crime. I liked how it turned out, and I liked how Robin navigated the murky waters of his antagonistic new workplace. The relationship between Robin and Adam shows significant growth as a couple, which was enjoyable. They are truly committed to one another, with a future that seems realistic. I’d definitely read on if another book is added to the series.