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Now You See Them by Elly Griffths - Review

Friday, September 20, 2019

When I read The Vanishing Box, the previous book in the Magic Man series, I felt like it had a real ending feel to the series. I thought I had said that in my blog, but I didn't. But I definitely felt like, as the fourth book, it had a wrapping up vibe, and I said to my partner that if that was the case, I would be happy with how it finished.

But then I was equally happy when Elly announced a new Mephisto and Stephens novel! We would be back with Edgar and Max! I requested it on Netgalley, so many thanks to Quercus Books for the opportunity to read this book. I was provided with an electronic copy of this book, but was not otherwise compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

So I started the book and found that although we're back in Brighton, it's eleven years later! It's 1964! Edgar and Emma are married and have three children - Marianne, Sophie, and baby Jonathan. Edgar is now Superintendent and Emma is a housewife. And she's pretty bored and fed up. From a promising career as a detective, she's now merely Mrs Edgar Stephens and she feels she's wasting her talents somewhat.

At the station, Bob is now Detective Inspector, and there's a promising new woman police officer, Meg. She's a bit jealous of being compared to Emma, but she's got a lot of initiative. In the eleven years since the last book, Max has moved to LA, married an American starlet, and had two more children, Rocco and Elena. He's back in the UK though because another of the Magic Men has died, and because he may be filming a new film in the UK.

It's May 1964 and the mods and the rockers are set to clash on the bank holiday, but there's also a girl missing from the local private school. Her father is demanding that the police find her, but as they look into her disappearance, they uncover two more missing girls. Are they linked, and if so, how? And how does American heartthrob Bobby Hambro, currently residing in the Ritz in London, fit into it?

I loved being back with Edgar and Max and Ruby, Max's daughter from a previous relationship. Emma is great in this book - she loves Edgar and the two get along well as partners and as parents, but she's bored. The world is changing, but not quick enough for the wife of a superintendent to keep her own job. I really felt for her. I would have liked more from Edgar's point of view, although I guess that as a superintendent he is probably buried in paperwork most of the time anyway. I did think that solving the mystery came quite fast, but I liked the book. I'm giving it four out of five!

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