Anne Cleelands’ popular Doyle and Action series returns with Murder in Just Cause. Back at Scotland Yard after her maternity leave, the Irish Doyle is seconded to DS Isabella Munoz, the colleague with whom she has a fractious relationship at the best of times.

Doyle expects a relatively quiet return but soon finds herself caught up in a supposed suicide at a housing estate, yet her special antenna are soon twitching as all is not as it looks at the surface and this is soon proved true on several levels. With her husband, the powerful Lord who happens to be Chief Inspector Action, only one of the few who have knowledge of Doyle’s highly developed sixth sense when it comes to truth-telling, Doyle finds herself in a tight place once again.

Action has his own methods of dealing out justice, a vigilante way that often has Doyle wringing her hands while trying to curb his ways and stick to what she sees as the right side of the law. Acton dealing with corruption within the force, has few people he trusts and his worries for his little family and young son increase.

The sexual tension between the couple adds a nice tension to a police procedural stood on its head. The title refers to the English law called “murder in just cause,” in which a murder can be committed with just cause due to the outcome. Doyle,a strict Roman Catholic, feels there is never just cause for any murder, in direct conflict with Acton’s methods.

The returning secondary characters are well-drawn, and even Munoz shows a bit of growth and development. There’s plenty here to make this an absorbing and entertaining read with its fast-paced plot that Cleeland cleverly winds around several threads to a satisfying conclusion.