Two murdered bodies are found in a Dartmoor bog and five teenagers are hospitalised due to a dangerous party drug. Time for DI Hellier and his team to act!
A West County Crime Mystery #2
This is Bernie Steadman’s second book in the ‘West County Crime Mysteries’ and it’s rapidly becoming one of my favourite detective series! You can perfectly read it as a stand-alone, however, there are a few references and I feel having read the first book is not only insightful, but it also enhances the feeling of reconnecting with old friends. DI Dan Hellier is now fully accepted and respected by his team. Together with his right hand, DS Sally Ellis, and colleagues as DC Sam Knowles and DC Lizzy Singh, they are a formidable team! Follow me and find out what’s up!
After the adventures in ‘Death in the Woods’, DI Hellier is still not really back in shape and thus, struggles to keep DC Adam Foster under control, a new and extremely eager member of his team who has to learn the ropes yet. Hellier has no choice but to rely on Foster because two bodies have been found in a Dartmoor bog. Time to call in Dr Neil Pargeter from the University Archeology Department as identifying the bodies will be a challenging task since the heads and hands have been removed and it is impossible to say how long both bodies have been lying there. Upon meeting each other, Hellier and Pargeter connect and so it happens that Pargeter is Hellier’s first friend in Exeter, apart from his girlfriend Claire, of course.
A terrible event shakes the community and puts the team under enormous pressure when five teenagers are rushed to hospital after having taken the party drug, ‘MCat.’ Two of them, 15-year-olds Ryan and Lee, are in a critical condition, and soon after Ryan dies. Who supplied the youngsters with this legal drug and how to stop them before more deaths will occur or, for that matter, before angry parents take matters into their own hands? To find the supplier, Hellier needs to take action quickly and the heat is on for the team as they now have two cases to work on. On top of that, the drug case comes very close to home for Dan Hellier and he is determined to leave no stone unturned but has also a murderer to catch….
I enjoyed meeting the detective team again, especially finding DI Dan Hellier much more confident in his role as their head and seeing him accepted by his team as such. I love how he is settling in Exeter and finds his way around his new place – the friendship between him and Neil Pargeter is great to watch. Also, I appreciated the archaeologist angle with the police procedurals – fascinating. And it is a pleasure to see how the various team members interact and cooperate, most of the time that is.
Like her leading character, Bernie Steadman too is finding her way with this series – her writing style is entertaining and appealing and makes you want to read more. What I especially love about Bernie Steadman’s detective series is the steady pace of the crime thriller and the fact that the plot is intertwined with the personal lives of the main characters. I look forward to reading the third book in the series, Death on the Coast – and I heartily recommend the West County Crime Mysteries!
About the Author
Bernie Steadman taught English for many years but only dabbled in short fiction and poetry until a few years ago when she took to writing full-time. She completed her debut novel, Death in the Woods when she escaped the classroom and could finally stop marking essays. This was the first in the West Country Mysteries series featuring DI Dan Hellier and his Exeter-based team. There are now three in the series, Death on Dartmoor and Death on the Coast completing the series.
Bernie lives in a small village in East Devon and her novels are set in and around the ancient Roman city of Exeter, which has seen its fair share of murder and mayhem over the centuries. The books explore the beauty of the area but demonstrate that even in the most charming of settings, terrible events may occur.
When not glued to the laptop, Bernie is a keen yoga fan and enjoys walking and cycling in the Devon countryside with her husband. They share their home with two large, black cats which came from the animal sanctuary where she is a volunteer and trustee.
‘Death on Dartmoor’ is available from Amazon
|Publisher||Bloodhound Books (20 Jun. 2018))|
|ASIN||B07DFJPZS8 (25 Jun. 2018)|