Meet DCI Lesley Clarke. She’s a straight-talking city copper who doesn’t suffer fools gladly… and she’s been transferred to rural Dorset.
After being injured in a bomb attack, Lesley is presented with a choice – early retirement, or a period of respite in a calmer location.
But things don’t stay calm for long.
Before she’s even started her new job, Lesley is dragged into investigating a murder at one of England’s most iconic landmarks, the imposing Corfe Castle.
Lesley must hit the ground running. Can she get along with her new partner DS Dennis Frampton, a traditionalist who doesn’t appreciate her style? How will she navigate the politics of a smaller force where she’s a bigger, and less welcome, fish? And most importantly, can she solve the murder before the killer strikes again?
What I Thought:
The Corfe Castle Murders combines two elements that are much to my liking – a setting local to me and solid crime fiction.
I was immediately drawn to this book as Corfe Castle is a place I’ve visited many times and I just *love* to be able to place the characters as they go about their work – although if this series continues for a while, I might become concerned about the local murder rate!
This book is a great introduction to Lesley Clarke – city dweller and hard-working detective. Before she is even able to begin her first day of work for Dorset Police, she’s drawn into a murder investigation and immediately into conflict with her new team. Can her ways of working ever fit in with the team she is now supposed to lead? And questions remain over the death of her predecessor – something that I’m sure will resurface in subsequent books.
I really liked Lesley – although some of her views about local bumpkins had this local clutching her pearls (!). She’s a hard-working woman who has tried to balance dedication to work with family life and, like many of us, this has not always gone well. Her forced banishment to Dorset has not gone down well, but she’s making a go of it in the best way she can.
There are lots of threads that draw her back to Birmingham, and I can see that someof them are tied to Rachel McLean’s other series of books – that’s not to say you have to have read those, as there are only passing references, but it would be a good idea to do so.
The actual crime itself in this book centres around an archaeological dig in Corfe Castle and the murder of a philandering academic – the eventual resolution is very cleverly thought out, with many a red herring to throw you off the scent, and the wrap up is suitably satisfying!
I very much enjoyed the book and was happy to see that book 2 is not far off, with book 3 in the works. I look forward to getting to know Lesley more in future – if only to see how she gets used to our part of the world!!
The Corfe Castle Murders is published by Ackroyd Publishing.
About the Author:
My name’s Rachel McLean and I write thrillers that make you think.
What does that mean?
In short, I want my stories to make your pulse race and your brain tick.
Do you often get through a thriller at breakneck pace but are left with little sense of what the book was really about? Do you sometimes read literary fiction but just wish something would damn well happen?
My books aim to fill that gap.
If you’d like to know more about my books and receive extra bonus content, please join my book club. I’ll send you a weekly (sometimes fortnightly) email with news about my writing research and progress, stories and bonus content for each book. And I’ll let you know when my books are on offer.
This post is part of a blog tour for The Corfe Castle Murders – why not check out the other participating blogs below?
Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.