Today it’s Mandie’s turn again, this time to review the second in the DI Dan Hellier series, Death on Dartmoor. The book is being rereleased by publishers Bloodhound, having previously been available under the title Death and the Good Son. Before we hear Mandie’s thoughts, lets have a look at what it’s all about.
About the Book
Life is good for DI Dan Hellier until the discovery of two headless, handless bodies buried in a bog on Dartmoor.
But how can he identify the victims when nobody has reported them missing?
The tension mounts when the death of a young man plunges Hellier into the murky world of the Garrett family. Could the peaceful, family-run Animal Rescue Centre really be a cover for murder and other criminal activity?
Hellier is about to learn just how far people will go to get what they want. And this investigation will challenge Hellier’s decisions as he races to catch a murderer before it’s too late.
If you are a fan of best-selling mystery authors like Joy Ellis, Faith Martin and LJ Ross, then you’ll love Bernie Steadman’s new West-Country Crime Mystery Series.
Death on Dartmoor is the second in the West Country crime series that once again sees DI Dan Hillier and his team try to solve not one but two cases.
The team are slowly getting over the recent events that occurred during the investigations into the murder of Carly Braithwaite when they are called to the moors after two headless bodies are discovered by an amateur archaeologist. When it is found that the hands are also missing, Dan just knows that this is going to be anything but easy and straightforward. Without any means to identify the bodies he enlists the help of Dr Neil Pargeter and his team of archaeologists from the local university to use various scientific methods to narrow down the search area and dates of missing persons.
If that investigation isn’t enough they soon find themselves being tasked with investigation the death and near death of two students from drug overdoses. Dan has come across the two boys before when they had discovered the boy of their classmate in the woods. This investigation is tricky as Dan is determined not to make any mistakes this time and he also has to deal with the families who are hell bent on finding out who supplied the drugs and pass out their own form of justice. You can feel the frustration as they think they are getting nowhere fast and running out of time. Things get a little more complicated when it looks like the family of an old school friend of Dan’s girlfriend may be caught up in it all in some way.
As the two investigations progress you get to learn a little more about Dan and his team and the fact that they have now seem to have found a rhythm to their work and banter. This is only hampered by the fact that after the previous case they are still without a DCI and all investigations are being overseen by the Chief Superintendent.
What I liked most about this book is that although there still seems to be a lot going on with the two cases, it is not as chaotic and full on as the first in the series. The author seems to have taken more time to flesh out the characters in the team and you get to see them interacting a bit more outside the “office” and learn a little of some of the personal lives. Whilst some may think this is not exactly necessary for the story, for me, making them a little more human helps me connect with them and care about the outcome of the investigations.
Death on Dartmoor although part of a series, can be read quite easily as a stand-alone and is another great book by Bernie Steadman. I am looking forward to the next in the series to see what Dan and the team are faced with.
Thanks to publisher Bloodhound Books for providing a copy of the book for review and to Sarah Hardy for inviting us to be a part of the tour. You can purchase a copy of the book from the following links:
About the Author
Bernie 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.
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