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“Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way… well, if you’re watching, don’t worry, there isn’t!”

Poor old Michael Fish. To have spent a worthy professional life reassuring the British public about what weather was coming their way, only to have your career summed up in twenty eight words. Twenty eight words which couldn’t have been more inaccurate. However, the aftermath of The Great Storm of 15th October 1987 is where Kate London’s new novel begins.

Death Message005A 15 year-old girl, Tania Mills, walks out of her front door and out of the lives of her parents, her family and her friends. She becomes just another statistic. Just another missing person for the police to make a dutiful attempt to appear involved. Just another file, first of all gathering dust on a shelf, and then occupying a tiny space on someone’s hard drive.

Almost three decades later, after the meteorological catastrophe which laid waste to large areas of south-east England, and the emotional storm which devastated the life of Claire Mills following her daughter’s disappearance, a determined Met Police officer, DS Sarah Collins is haunted by the cold case, and is determined to find answers.

Her search for the facts of what really became of Tania Mills is hindered when she is inexorably drawn into a pressing new case of domestic violence. She and a vulnerable young police constable, Lizzie Griffiths, have something of a history, but as Sarah Collins attempts to safeguard a mother and daughter from a very real and present danger, she discovers that the past is not so much another country, but an adjacent room in the same house. Death Message is out on 6th April as a paperback and a Kindle, and is published by Corvus.

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