Thursday 14 January 2021

The Bones of the Dead - J.E. Mayhew - DCI Will Blake Book 3.0

The Bones of the Dead 
DCI Will Blake Book 3.0
Obolus Books
Zertex Crime
ISBN 9781999840761

This is the fourth DCI William Blake story I have read and the fifth book by J.E. Mayhew. I have been jumping around a bit. I started with book 2 in this series, then the prequel, and then back to book 1, and now this story. So other than my first read this was the first one that did not have any spoilers from reading them out of order. Each of the stories are strong enough to be read on its own. This series was recommended to me by Alex Smith, author of the DCI Kett books. I had read all the Kett books and was awaiting the next Softley Softley book when Smith mentioned book two in this series, Fearful Symmetry, and gave it a plug. After reading that volume I discovered that the author publishes under two names, much like Smith. One for Adult crime novels, J.E. Mayhew and another for Young Adult and younger readers, Jon Mayhew. And I have now read books under both names. I was glad I gave that first one a try and after reading 4 of the 5 stories know I will read this series as long as new books are published in it. And have plans to go back and read more of his Young Adult offerings as well. These books are not as gritty and do not pack as much punch as the Kett novels, but they are great British crime procedural stories. When I reviewed a Kett story I stated I could see Jamie Bamber as DCI Kett, and while reading this I could not help but picture Karl Urban as DCI Will Blake. And can picture it much like the TV series Wired in the Blood

Let’s now return our focus to this specific book.

This is the third novel and fourth story featuring DCI Will Blake. Blake has a few things against him, first he is named after a famous poet, an second when he was younger he was the uniformed officer on a Tv Series called Searchlight. And most people upon meeting him tend to refer to one or the other. Both of which get under his skin. And these days everything seems to be getting under his skin. His girlfriend, his brother who has come to visit, a criminal he washed his hands of and who wants to have a link with him. And on top of that the new case does not make a lot of sense. The description of this volume is:

“How do you solve a murder when there is no body?

When DCI Will Blake is called to investigate a blood-drenched gravestone, the evidence leads to Trevor Long, local paranormal investigator, self-styled medium and conspiracy theorist. Long vanished while he was investigating the mysterious, axe-wielding Sons of Sol, worshippers of the Viking sun goddess. But Long’s life, like his death, is far from straight forward and Blake’s team are drawn into a deadly game. Meanwhile, closer to home, an old enemy is still conspiring against Blake. His life is in danger. And to top it all, his cat has gone missing.

Can Blake unravel the fate of Trevor Long, defend himself and protect those he holds dear before the forces of evil close in?”

There seems to not be a single person who has anything good to say about Long, his mother, his ex-girlfriend. Only his flatmate seems to even care that he is missing. But with the amount of blood found at the scene. The ax standing in the grave, and his coat and boot left behind. It is hard not to assume the worst.

But woven tightly round that story, is the fact that Blake’s mother has been missing for 2 years now. His cat he inherited from her is now missing, as are other cats on the street. And the fiend from the previous story, keeps yanking on Blake’s and the departments chains. Throw in a group of pagan ax throwers, a notorious money launderer and criminal, and some very bad decisions on the part of his team, and we are set for a story like no other.

A great read in a thrilling series. Well written. Keeps you attention from the get go. A book that was hard to put down. And leaves you wondering where things will go in Cruelty Has A Human Heart, the next volume.

Books as J.E. Mayhew:
DCI William Blake Series:

Books as Jon Mayhew:
The Spybrarian

Monster Odyssey Series:
1.0 The Eye of Neptune
2.0 The Wrath of the Lizard Lord
3.0 The Curse of the Ice Serpent
4.0 The Venom of the Scorpion

Mortlock Series:
2.0 The Demon Collector
3.0 The Bonehill Curse

Collins Big Cat Series:
The Merchant of Venice: Band 16/Sapphire
Hamlet: Band 18/Pearl
Romeo and Juliet: Band 18/Pearl
Macbeth: Band 18/Pearl

Contributed to:
Beyond the Book: A Collection of Short Stories
Storycraft: How To Teach Creative Writing
Criminal Shorts: UK Crime Book Club Anthology
Make Doves Not War - Forward

Books as Edwin Torr:
Dead Means Dead Series
1.0 Demons - 2017
1.3 Cotton Candy - 2017
1.9 Remurdered - 2017
2.0 Angel Hunter - 2017
2.5 Cold Caller - 2017
3.0 Jigsaw Girl - 2018

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