The Engine House by Rhys Dylan

Today, Mandie share her thoughts on The Engine House by Rhys Dylan as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Zoe-Lee O’Farrell for the tour invite and Wyrmwood Books for the advance copy for review. Here’s what the book is all about:

Source: Advance Review Copy
Release Date: 06 January 2022
Publisher: Wyrmwood Books

About the Book

You can bury the bodies, but you can’t hide the truth.

When a landslip on Pembrokeshire’s stunning coastal path reveals the harrowing remains of two bodies, ex-DCI Evan Warlow’s quiet retirement is shattered.

As the original investigator for the two missing persons eight years before, Evan is recalled to help with what is now a murder inquiry. But as the killer scrambles to cover up the truth, the body count rises.

Working with a new young team, Warlow peels away the layers to reveal the dark and rotten heart that beats beneath the chocolate box tranquillity of an area renowned for its quiet beauty.
But does he still have what it takes to root out the monstrous truth before all hell lets loose?

The Engine House is the gripping debut crime thriller set in the heart of wild Wales from author Rhys Dylan. Perfect for fans of LJ Ross, JD Kirk. JM Dalgliesh and Simon McCleave. Celtic noir with a spatter of dark humour.

Mandie’s Thoughts

Evan Warlow is a retired DCI living the quiet life with his dog when an old case comes back to haunt him. Following a landslip, the bodies of two missing people are discovered. Having led the original investigations 8 years before this was one case that he had regretted not being able to solve. Its not long before his old boss is asking for his help on a consultant basis… the question is does he want to be drawn back into the world he had turned his back on?

It’s never easy trying to go over an unsolved crime especially when so much time has passed. From the start you can see that Warlow is trying to work out if there was anything he missed especially as he lives so close to where the bodies were found. He is torn between wanting to finally give answers to the family and keeping as far away from it all as possible concerned he may be more of a hindrance than a help. Then there is the reason why he left the force in the first place. Only his boss knows what that is and at times this could be a distraction both to the case and the reader as even we are not given any real clue to what it could be (maybe that will be revealed in the future)

The interactions with his colleagues give more of an insight to his character and I was certainly warming to him more and more as the book progressed. Despite it being clear that this was really his investigation he refused to undermine or take the credit from either the SIO or the junior officers even when it became evident that there was a possible leak within the force. There is definitely someone who wants this case to remain unsolved. 

The setting of the book lent itself well to the book adding just that little extra bit of mystery and as the investigation ended and we found out the true cost of life and the motivation behind the murders it highlights the shocking exploitation that still goes on.

The pacing of the book and the chapter lengths all lend themselves to keeping the reader engaged and it will be interesting to see what DCI Warlow investigate next and how they will all deal with his reinstatement to the force.

About the Author

Rhys Dylan was born and grew up in west Wales, went away to university in London, but came back to live and work in his country of birth. Along the way he indulged his imagination by writing books for children and adults under various pennames and in a variety of genres.

2021 sees him turning his hand once more to crime with DCI Evan Warlow in the Black Beacons crime series. Spread over 500 square miles, the Brecon Beacons mountain range sits like a giant doorstop at the heads of the South Wales valleys. To the north and west, they nestle in the crook of the ancient kingdoms of Powys and Dyfed, stretching from the eastern Marches to the wild southwestern coast. Many of the mountain peaks in the range have names. Others are simply referred to as black. It is in this timeless landscape that the books are set.

Rhys lives on the edge of the Beacons with his wife and a dog that doesn’t like the rain.

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