First published 2013
When a reader contacts local newspaper The Crow to report a rare sighting of the Boreal, or ‘Funeral’ Owl, journalist Philip Dryden has a sense of foreboding. The bird has been spotted in the West Fens – a bleak area of sandy farmland and wild woods. In the violent and terrible week that follows, the sighting of the owl proves prophetic in more ways than one. The body of a Chinese man is discovered hanging from a cross in the Fen village of Brimstone Hill. A series of metal thefts is plaguing the area, and a local police constable wants Dryden’s help in solving a ten-year-old cold case: a series of violent art thefts which ended in murder. Dryden’s decision to open a local West Fen edition of The Crow in the area looks inspired.