I mentioned the other day Kate Ellis’s first book in a new series, Seeking the Dead. In some respects, it’s a departure from her previous books, set in a fictionalised Dartmouth, and featuring Wesley Peterson. The backdrop here is Eborby (a fictionalised York) and the detective Joe Plantagenet, who gave up a calling as a priest to become a cop. But the new book possesses the same virtues that have made the Wesley books very popular.
Prime amongst those virtues is a gift for complex, yet credible plotting. Kate’s books invariably offer a traditional convoluted whodunit in modern guise. Here, the mystery concerns a serial killer, the Resurrection Man, who is terrorising Eborby. There is a very neat red herring and I have to admit I fell for it. I was for many chapters convinced that I’d figured out the solution, but Kate managed to confound my expectations with a double twist ending.
Kate’s enthusiasm for history and archaeology is again well to the fore. The Wesley books offer a historical mystery that runs in parallel with the contemporary puzzle, and in this book there is a comparable plot strand, harking back to the Great Plague.
Joe is a likeable fellow, similar to Wesley in that respect and various others, and I look forward to his next outing. Kate is a prolific writer, so fans can be assured that there will not be too long to wait!