Roz Watkins has a way of writing books that I find refreshing and fascinating. Taking a piece folk law, or urbane myth, and interweaving a modern crime she arrives at a book which is a realistic crime thriller with a touch of horror novel. In fact I can’t make my mind up who would be the most proud to call her a student of their genre, Colin Dexter or Stephen King. If you are a fan of either you’ll love this book, if you are a fan of both, this is really going to get your juices flowing.
DI Meg Dalton is a recent transferee to Derbyshire from Manchester Met Police. She not only has to battle the “she’s a know it all from the big Force” brigade but also prove herself better than the men from Derbyshire she was promoted over to get her job as SIO in one of the MIT’s covering the Peak District.
When she stumbles across a crime scene Meg is suddenly immersed in an investigation that seems to have one strikingly obvious outcome.
A man is dead in his house, his daughter is found running through the woods covered in blood. When Meg traces the child’s steps back to the house, she realises the crime has happened in a premises where the Police have had numerous calls to report a stalker but have done little or nothing about it.
The investigation leads Meg and her team down one route, the little girl appears to have killed her father, but Meg is not convinced.
So, why is this book a bit on the horror genre, well the little girl, her name is Abbie, has had an organ transplant, and everything seems to suggest that somehow the organ she has received is affecting the way she now behaves.
To add to that the house that the murder took place in is wrapped in folk law and has connections with a past series of sacrificial killings.
It’s up to Meg to work out who the murderer is, and what the motive was behind the killing.
This story is complex in places with different characters swapping hypothesis to suit their own agenda, more than one of which is purely because they want Meg to fail.
But the story is absolutely brilliant. Like all the best books it had me Googling about things I wasn’t aware of, such as Cellular Memory Phenomenon, and yes it does exist.
What a subject to identify to base a crime story on, and to keep it so realistic. Brilliant.
This book is the second in the series, The Devils Dice is the first, but can easily be read as a stand alone but once you’ve read it you will want to read first.
I really can’t wait for the third book in the series.
Publishers: HQ, Harper Collins