Books seven and eight in the Dorset Crime series, which in itself is a spin off from the Birmingham Crime Series, both of which have interwoven themes, running storylines and shared characters
Although these books can be read as standalone stories I would really suggest, and highly recommend, that the reader invested in the books that come before, because this is a brilliant continuing story, that will have fans of the TV series Line of Duty salivating.
DCI Lesley Clarke moved from the West Midlands to Dorset as a form of recovery following an injury during a terrorist attack. There were a few of things she didn’t expect.
Firstly that Dorset was going to be the scene of so many murders.
Secondly that she would be dealing with major crime lords
Thirdly, and most significantly that she would fall into a situation that would involve her investigating the death of her predecessor, a death formally recorded as suicide, but which is beginning to look more and more suspicious.
Her investigations into the death of retired DCI Mackie seems to be inextricably linked to her current investigations and, because she doesn’t know who she can trust, she turns to a selective few of her new colleagues, one of her old ones and surprisingly a local journalist.
That is the running theme throughout this series and it’s addictive
Book 7 The Blue Pool Murders, sees Lesley and her team investigating the death of a Local Crime Boss.
His body is found floating in an isolated pool in a nature reserve. The one piece of evidence at the scene points to somebody very close to her. Should she hide it, there’s already enough duplicity and underhand behaviour in the force, does she need to add to it. Or is somebody trying to discredit her, or have her removed from the Major Investigation Team by having her credibility as a neutral investigator brought into question.
As the bodies mount, and Clarke and her team get closer to the truth, the links to Mackie also start to add up.
Book 8 The Lighthouse Murder starts with a body discovered in Portland Bill Lighthouse. The victim is linked to Lesley. Her team in Birmingham put him away just before she moved south.
He should still be in prison but his escape was rigged when he was being transferred from one of the Dorset Prisons.
The big question is why was he killed within hours of escaping.
Again the bodies mount up but Clarke is without one of her team. A major player, her DS has been arrested and suspended.
She feels like it’s getting harder to keep investigations on the right track.
When Police Officers start “running interference” on her investigations, in apparent careless but innocent ways her paranoia of who to trust deepens.
She returns to Birmingham as part of the investigation and starts to interact with her old DI Zoe Finch, the one copper she knows she can trust.
These two books almost finish off the running story.
Book 9, The Ghost Village is out this summer and according to the publicity material it is the book in which the story concludes
I quickly became hooked on Rachel McLeans books when I read the first of the Zoe Finch books set in Birmingham. Now her works is amongst my favourite Crime Fiction being written today.
As her books are published they go straight to the top of my reading pile, and never get relegated.