This is the 5th book in the Philip Dryden series. Philip is a big city newspaper journalist who has since moved to a very small town when his wife has a bad car accident and is comatosed for many years. The books do that balance of the personal and the "mystery" really well and it doesn't hurt that Philip is a very engaging character.
"The Capri shook to the sound of snoring, and through the fly-spattered windscreen of the mini-cab Philip Dryden contemplated the Fen horizon. Humph, the driver, slept peacefully, his lips brought together in a small bow, his sixteen stone compressing the seat beneath him. Around them the drained wasteland that had once been Whittlesea Mere, an inland lake the size of a small English county, stretched beyond sight. Overhead a cloud the size of a battleship sailed across an unblemished sky."
For seventeen years, the Cambridgeshire hamlet of Jude's Ferry has lain abandoned, requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence for military training in 1990. The isolated, thousand-year-old community was famous for one thing - never having recorded a single crime.
But when local reporter Philip Dryden joins the Territorial Army on exercise in the empty village, its spotless history is literally blown apart. For the TA's shells reveal a hidden cellar beneath the old pub. And inside the cellar hangs a skeleton, a noose around its neck...