Cold Sanctuary by David J Gatward

Cold Sanctuary by David J Gatward
Publisher: Weirdstone Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

A tragic farm accident… or so it seems. Can this former big-city detective defeat the human monsters lurking in the Yorkshire Dales?

DCI Harry Grimm’s happy emotions are confusing the hell out of him. Enjoying the company of his new girlfriend and furry black dog, the usually gruff detective finds himself feeling genuinely content for the first time in a very long while. But it’s soon back to business as usual when the idyllic countryside is rocked by the demise of a popular farmer in a horrific hay-baler accident.

After the coroner rules the mangled remains a homicide, Grimm sends his team out to follow clues that provoke more questions than answers. And as his officers drop like flies, the victim’s adopted son vanishes, and suspicious threats emerge, the justice-driven investigator vows he’ll restore peace and slam another killer behind bars.

Can he shed light on the darkest of sins before more lives are lost in the hills?

DCI Harry Grimm is called out to a local farm in what at first glance appears to be a farming accident gone horribly wrong. But the evidence quickly points to something far more sinister. The situation grows more complicated as tragedy strikes one of DCI Grimm’s own team members and all too soon, they realise the tensions boiling under the surface of their idyllic home are about to burst.

I’ve been really enjoying the DCI Harry Grimm series and found this to be one of the strongest additions yet. I feel Harry himself has really settled into both the countryside and his role leading the local police team. I love how tight knit the small team is and how the characters work so well together but each with their own distinct personalities. I also really enjoy how even though this is set well into the dales and countryside the problems and crime are both realistic but also utterly relatable. This is an exceptional blend I feel and really helps sell me on the series as a whole.

I also really enjoyed how while the plot was fairly straightforward from the start there were still a number of twists I didn’t foresee but the pace kept along at a good clip so at no stage did I feel the story was dragging. While the two main plots/cases did take up the lion’s share of the story I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the team work together and continue to grow. After the last few books – where there has been a lot of character growth in particular – it was nice for this to take somewhat of a back seat and the police procedure to once again come more to the forefront.

Readers should easily be able to pick this book up as a standalone story. The plots are well contained in this story and while the characters are a solid team and clearly have history together, I feel this doesn’t mean readers can’t pick this book up by itself and enjoy it on its own merits.

A strong mystery with interesting characters and a well woven plot. Recommended.

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