Meet DCI Cyril Bennett, a man with a passion for manners and efficiency, as well as an eye for the ladies. His partner, DS David Owen, is naive and untidy but keen. Together they make a formidable pair.
When the discovery of two infants’ bodies is made at a Teacher Training College, Bennett and Owen are given the case. Soon a number of suspects are identified. At the same time, a killer is on the loose staging attacks using sulphur mustard. Is there a link between the infants’ bodies and the sulphur mustard attacks? Do the answers lie in the past or the present? Bennet and Owen must work together to bring to justice a killer with revenge on his mind.
Only The Dead is the first instalment in a new, to me, crime series by Malcolm Hollingdrake. Currently there are 4 books and it’s due to the reviews of the latest one, Game Point, that I felt compelled to check this series out. And of course, I had to start at the beginning!
Cyril Bennett is quite unlike any other DCI. He oozes charisma, dresses to kill (not literally), has a passion for manners and efficiency and likes the ladies. It makes a nice change from the cliché scruffy, grumpy ones with a drinking problem. His sidekick, David Owen, is naive but very keen. Somehow they make a great team and I warmed to both of them right from the start.
The team is working on two cases. Two infants’ bodies are discovered on the grounds of a Teacher Training College. Meanwhile, someone is attacking individuals with sulphur mustard. All of this results in a complex and multi-layered plot that had me completely hooked.
I found Only The Dead to be highly original, combining a police investigation with historical events that inspire a killer set on revenge. I could almost sympathise with him, understanding where he was coming from. Which feels all sorts of weird but there you go.
At 260 pages, this was quite a quick read and I managed to get through it in one sitting. All in all, gripping and engrossing with a cast of characters I look forward to reading about again.
I do so love discovering a new series and I can’t wait to read the next ones, which are patiently waiting on my kindle.
Only The Dead was released as an eBook in November 2016.
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