Review: ‘Murder on the Marsh’ by Anne Penketh – guest review by @mgriffiths163

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The Official Book Blurb

A BOY’S BODY IS FOUND IN A CHURCHYARD. HIS HEART HAS BEEN CUT OUT . . .

DI Sam Clayton has never dealt with such an extreme crime in the quiet Norfolk villages that are part of his patch. When a waitress, Emma Dawson, disappears, it looks like the police might have a serial killer on their hands. Emma seems to have been part of cultish group obsessed with contacting the dead via a medieval mystic. But a mysterious Frenchman and one of the local nature wardens are also suspects. The mystery is further complicated by the locals’ reluctance to share their secrets with the police. DI Clayton’s team also harbour some tragic secrets and it looks like only one of his detectives will be kept on, even if they do catch the vicious killer.

When another child disappears, DI Clayton faces a race against time to prevent any further crimes. Not only that, but he must confront local superstitions and keep his team under control as violence threatens to spiral out of control.

During the investigations, that sees them chase a suspect to France they find that both murders are linked and they are drawn into old legends and séances in the hope of solving the crimes. In the end it is Emma’s son Eddie that holds the key to identifying the killer. Throughout the book you learn a bit about the backgrounds of DI Sam Clayton and his team, DS Neil Pringle and DS Julie Everett so you get to see why they act the way they do in certain situations.

In the case of DS Everett this means you can warm to her slightly more than you might as she comes across as a bit cold and distant. You also learn that they are dealing with a merged force under threat of further cuts that impacts on their reactions in certain situations and at times sees them working as individuals rather than a coherent team trying to solve two nasty murders. Everyone seems to be hiding secrets that could implicate them in the crimes and when evidence appears to implicate them you are sure you know who the killer is.  At times it does seem that they are concentrating more on the murder of Emma Dawson than that of Jimmy Spratt and this is commented on by the author when Jimmy’s father turns up at the station complaining that they have not been kept up to date on the investigations into the death of their son (a sentiment I am sure that many parents who have suffered the loss of a loved one in violent circumstances might share)

Murder on the Marsh by Anne Penketh is billed as the first book about DI Sam Clayton. I came across it by chance and I am really glad that I did. I found hard to put down with the setting of the Norfolk marshes adding to the atmosphere of the old stories legends of the area. The more I got into the story, the more I wanted to know about all the residents of the village and the secrets they were hiding. I look forward to future cases of DI Clayton and his team.

4 stars

4

I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe books for the copy of this book. It is available to purchase at the following links:

Amazon UK

Amazon.com