It’s back over to Mandie today who has read and reviewed the lates release from author Bernie Steadman, the third book in the Dan Hellier series, Death on the Coast. With thanks to publishers Bloodhound Books who provided a copy for review via Netgalley, here is what it is all about.
About the Book
Can DCI Dan Hellier decipher the twisted mind behind the ritualised burning of homeless men on Devon’s beaches before more people are sacrificed?
When images from the burning appear all over social media, Hellier realises that he is dealing with a cult and a mystery that will lead back to the Irish Troubles.
Hellier will battle a bitter man who has plotted revenge for more than twenty years, without a care for the lives he will destroy.
Death on the Coast sees Dan Hillier and the team trying to discover who is responsible for the death of a homeless man who was found burned to death on the beach. When another body is discovered in similar circumstances they worry that they are dealing with a serial killer and the race is on to solve the case before another person is targeted. As the investigations progress they are led into the world of fire cults.
Dan has now been promoted to DCI and is slowly getting used to leading 2 murder teams and all the decisions and paperwork that go with the new responsibilities. He still doesn’t feel quite ready to let go of the challenges of being a hands on detective so is still getting involved in chasing the leads and questioning the suspects, and his keenness in this area means that he is still sometimes prone to rookie mistakes, thankfully without the same fatal outcomes of the past but at least you can see him as a human being. His relationship with Clare, who he met whilst investigating the murder of teenager Carly Braithwaite is going from strength to strength and she is managing to keep him grounded, especially when dealing with his sister.
The rest of the team are really settled, but you do get the feeling that trainee DC Adam Forster still has a lot to learn. His bull in china shop attitude and apparent inability to follow orders at times saw him sustain injuries to his throat, yet this has not changed his approach to his work which can at times rub his more experienced colleagues up the wrong way.
I love the rapport between Dan and DS Sally Ellis. Despite him being her superior officer you can see that he really values her opinion. Once again Bernie Steadman has produced a cracking read. Her characters are easy to warm to and the investigations go off in several different ways before they eventually solve the case. With Death at the Coast you are in the unusual position of knowing who the killer is right from the start but you are not totally sure of their motives until the end of the book. I am certainly hoping that this is not the last we will see of Dan and the team.
Thanks Mandie. If you’d like a copy of the book for yourself (and I know I’ll be bagging mine) then it is available at 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.