When a woman turns up drowned on the grounds of a royal estate, Sergeant Keen Dunliffe of Leeds, West Yorkshire, is hoping it’s just a case of a drunken skinny-dipping accident. But when the woman turns out to be a historian, whose specialty is 18th century English royalty and politics and who was attending a conference at a local university, it’s too much of a public relations nightmare to take lightly.
The mystery deepens when two secretive men from the Met show up to ask Keen to befriend a colleague of the dead woman's, an American college professor named Dr. Jillie Waltham who was also at the conference, in the hopes that she can shed some light on the victim’s life and work. Since tagging along with Jillie means he'll be able to spend some time with his twin sons, who are living with his ex-wife and her fiance in London, he's not that unhappy to have the assignment. But simple drowning or not, with two such high ranking government officials interested in the case but unable to tell him why, Keen, known for his rebelliousness and bad temper, is liable to get into more trouble than ever before his investigation is finished.
Kingdom of Lies launches a new series featuring Inspector Keen Dunliffe, an embittered but idealistic Leeds homicide investigator struggling with a failed marriage, departmental hostility, and a puzzling case that higher authorities want swept aside. Just how high up those authorities might be is thrown into dark relief when the American friend of the deceased, the divorced and attractive Professor Jillie Waltham, uncovers evidence that the roots of the crime hinge on the historic George III’s unacknowledged bastard child and the rightful chain of succession of the British Empire.
A literary, character-driven, and complex mystery, Kingdom of Lies is Lee Wood's first novel of a wonderful new series featuring Sergeant Keen Dunliffe and Professor Jillie Waltham.