Today’s book review, of a crime novel, is brought to you by crime author Paul Gitsham. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.
The Unquiet Grave by Stephen Dunne
Synopsis: The past can’t stay hidden forever… The Cold Case Unit of Derby Constabulary feels like a morgue to DI Damen Brook. But in disgrace and recently back from suspension, his boss thinks it’s the safest place for him. But Brook isn’t going down without a fight and when he uncovers a pattern in a series of murders that date back to 1963, he is forced to dig deeper. How could a killer stay undetected for so long? Could it be luck or are more sinister forces at work? Applying his instincts and razor sharp intelligence, Brook delves deep into the past of both suspects and colleagues unsure where the hunt will lead him. What he does know for sure is that a significant date is approaching fast and the killer may be about to strike again…
The novel is available from http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Unquiet-Grave-Damen-Brook/dp/0755383729 (paperback), http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00ABLJ2TI (eBook), changing the .co.uk for .com etc. for outside of the UK.
About the Author: Steven Dunne has written for fun since attending Kent University. After a brief and terrifying stint as a stand-up comic, he became a freelance journalist writing for The Times and the Independent. He is now a part-time teacher in Derby. He is the author of the highly acclaimed thrillers ‘The Reaper’ and ‘The Disciple’.
The Unquiet Grave is the fourth novel in the DI Damen Brook series and my first exposure to the writer Steven Dunne. It won’t be my last, I’ll definitely be reading the previous three and any future books.
The book takes place over fifty years as DI Brook is assigned to the cold-case unit. Child murders from half a century previously are given a new resonance when it becomes apparent that a significant anniversary is approaching. Will the killer strike again or can DI Brook prevent another tragedy?
The book is a meaty 518 pages and every page is worth it. The book doesn’t shy away from difficult questions and has twists and turns right up to the very last page. DI Brook is a compelling and sympathetic character and the secondary characters are similarly well-written, with strong motives and some original characteristics. Picking up a novel mid-series is always a gamble; will you be able to follow any ongoing plotlines or will the author have told you so much that there’s no point reading the earlier books? Dunne manages to walk this fine-line perfectly. Brook has a past, and is coming off suspension, and Dunne gives us just enough hints about why that was to make me want to read the previous books in the series.
This book was given to me for free by the author as a promotion, with no expectation of a review. However, I can’t recommend it highly enough and will be happy to purchase others in the series with my own money.
Thank you, Paul. Sounds like I should add that to my list.
Paul Gitsham started his career as a biologist, working in such exotic locales as Manchester and Toronto. After stints as the world’s most over-qualified receptionist and a spell making sure that international terrorists and other ne’er do wells hadn’t opened a Junior Savings Account at a major UK bank (a job even less exciting than being a receptionist), he retrained as a Science Teacher. He now spends his time passing on his bad habits and sloppy lab-skills to the next generation of enquiring minds.
Paul has always wanted to be a writer and his final report on leaving primary school predicted he’d be the next Roald Dahl! For the sake of balance it should be pointed out that it also said “he’ll never get anywhere in life if his handwriting doesn’t improve”. Twenty five years later and his handwriting is worse than ever but millions of children around the world love him.*
Paul writes the DCI Warren Jones series of novels, modern British police procedurals, set in North Hertfordshire. The first two in the series, The Last Straw and No Smoke Without Fire, were released in 2014 by Carina UK (Harlequin), and have both spent over a week at the top of the UK Kindle crime chart. The third in the series is due to be released in early 2015. You can find out more about Paul at his website www.paulgitsham.com.
*This is a lie – just ask any of the students he has taught.
And you can find his books from…
- The Last Straw: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Last-Straw-Warren-Jones-Novel-ebook/dp/B00IPKD2WK*
- No Smoke Without Fire: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Smoke-Without-Warren-Jones-Novel-ebook/dp/B00L5GV2N2
- * You can read my review of this book here and I shall be review book 2 next week.
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If you would like to send me a book review of another author’s books or like your book reviewed (short stories, contemporary crime / women’s novels or writing guides), see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog. And I post writing exercises every weekday on four online writing groups.