*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Everybody loves Thomas Davies. Don’t they?
When policeman Thomas Davies falls from a crag on a visit to the Lake District in full view of his partner, Mia, it looks for all the world like a terrible but unfortunate accident — until a second witness comes forward with a different story.
Alerted to the incident, DCI Jude Satterthwaite is inclined to take it seriously — not least because of Mia’s reluctance to speak to the police about the incident. As Jude and his colleagues, including his on-off partner DS Ashleigh O’Halloran, tackle the case, they’re astonished by how many people seem to have a reason to want all-round good guy Thomas out of the way.
With the arrival of one of Thomas’s colleagues to assist the local force, the investigation intensifies. As the team unpick the complicated lives of those who claim to care for Thomas but have good reasons to want him dead, they find themselves digging deeper and deeper into a web of blackmail and cruelty … and investigating a second death.
A traditional British police procedural mystery set in Cumbria.
DCI Jude Satterthwaite returns for another Lake District police procedural in this excellent mystery series from Jo Allen. Death on the Crags is book nine in the series and you can dive straight into the story as a standalone, but I recommend catching up first really, as there is a lot of character backstory in the relationships that really adds to the depth of the plot.
Here, the case under investigation initially looks like an accident to the police, but Jude has his suspicions and the reader already knows from the start that there is more to the ‘fall’ of Thomas Davies than a simple stumble. And the author quickly plunges us into a case that centres around the apparently all-round-good-guy victim and his shocked-or-is-she? partner, Mia.
As with other books, Jude’s interpersonal relationships cleverly mirror the themes in the main plot, as we see him still struggling to maintain his fragile friendships with his brother and ex-girlfriend, while negotiating the new friends-with-benefits agreement he has made with Ashleigh and attempting to keep their professional relationship distinct. For someone who spends so much of his free time working, he seems quite good at complicating his social life. Or maybe that’s why he ends up working!
This is yet another excellent police mystery in a series that is getting better and better. The plots hang together well, the characters feel authentic and interesting, and the writing is smooth and immersive. I can’t stop reading – if only to find out whether Jude and Becca ever get past their hurt pride – and can highly recommend them to fellow fans of a well-written British police procedural.
Thomas was naturally curious and in no hurry. He stopped, stretched, and looked back. Mia was a bright red spot on the grey landscape, already a clear couple of hundred feet below, and the walker below him, without a backpack to encumber him was moving along the path at some speed.– Jo Allen, Death on the Crags
Where had he come from? There had been no sign of anyone when Mia and Thomas had left the car park at Mardale Head and they’d passed no-one on the way up. The figure was climbing fast enough to gain ground on Thomas himself but not fast enough to have caught up with him if he’d recently started from the car park. These were small things, but Thomas had an eye for the details and it had saved his life in the recent past. An instinctive reading of the way someone set their shoulders told him when they were going to lunge towards him; the look in a driver’s eye gave away an intention to put his foot on the accelerator and mobilise his car against a uniformed police officer. That instinct kicked in now. Something was wrong and this bare hillside wasn’t the place to stop and find out what it was.
Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below for details) for more great content and reviews, and follow this link to see my review of Death at Rainbow Cottage, this link to see my review of Death on the Lake, this link to see my review of Death in the Woods, this link to see my review of Death in the Mist and this link to see my review of Death on a Monday Night all by the same author.