Caution Death At Work by Rhys Dylan


Caution Death At Work by Rhys Dylan
Publisher: Wyrmwood Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

A dark past casts a deep shadow.

Evan Warlow is back in the saddle as a DCI, though he isn’t yet sure he deserves to be, and there are others who share his doubts.

When a brutal attack on two mountain bikers in the vast solitude of the Brechfa forest leaves one dead and the other badly injured, the hunt is on for the killer. And though the evidence points firmly in one direction, an open and shut case soon becomes murky and unclear.

It’s not the first time bad things have happened in these woods. Things that some have tried desperately to forget. But for the killer, it’s more a matter of unfinished business.

Unless Evan and the team can outwit a vengeful and clever murderer, someone else is going to die.

When two friends are brutally attacked while they camp in the woods overnight one manages to escape, but help comes for his friend too late. DCI Evan Warlow is back in the saddle, but still has a weight over him, wondering if it’s the right decision. But he can’t back out now, he and his team need to sort out the reason behind the savage attack and try to correct some wrongs that stem back to many years ago.

This is the second book in this Welsh series, and I am finding that I enjoy them. In many respects this is a standard British police procedural and highly enjoyable. I do like the small Welsh touches though – the occasional Welsh word thrown into casual conversation with a brief explanation or the slightly darker than usual feel to the story and setting. I enjoy the way this team works together and am getting used to their characters – as well as a new addition to the team. I feel they are meshing very well together and learning about each other’s working styles as we the reader come to know them all.

I definitely feel this book can be read as a standalone. As only the second in the series not much has been missed and there isn’t that massive amount of history and/or backstory that you often get deeper within a series. I feel readers who enjoy British police procedural style mysteries or crime novels should absolutely feel at home with this and enjoy the slightly different flavour the Wales setting gives the story as a whole.

I also really enjoyed the plot. What seemed quite straightforward in the beginning had some layers to it that the investigation unearthed and while not incredibly complicated I did enjoy that it wasn’t as simple as I had assumed at first. I also liked there were a few mild twists to the story that kept me interested and eagerly turning the pages.

An atmospheric and slightly creepy Welsh read – this was a great mystery book and a series I am quickly becoming addicted to. A good read and one I can recommend.

The Engine House by Rhys Dylan


The Engine House by Rhys Dylan
Publisher: Wyrmwood Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

You can bury the bodies, but you can’t hide the truth.

When a landslip on Pembrokeshire’s stunning coastal path reveals the harrowing remains of two bodies, ex-DCI Evan Warlow’s quiet-one man and his dog-retirement is shattered. As the original investigator for the two missing persons eight years before, Evan is recalled to help with what is now a murder inquiry.

But as the killer scrambles to cover up the truth, the body count rises.

Working with a new young team, Warlow peels away the layers to reveal the dark and rotten heart that beats beneath the chocolate box tranquillity of an area renowned for its quiet beauty.

But does he still have what it takes to root out the monstrous truth before all hell lets loose?

It’s been over a year since ex-DCI Evan Warlow has retired at the height of his career for deeply personal reasons. Content to work on his small cottage, walk his dog and take it easy, he is surprised when a landslip on a coastal path reveals the hidden remains of two bodies – a married couple Evan never managed to solve the disappearance of eight years ago and one of the few cases he could never really let go of. Reluctantly allowing himself to be talked into returning to consult on the new case, he’s surprised when a few leads immediately pop up giving a new rush to the investigation. Only with the new leads, new dangers also appear to lurk.

I found this Welsh police procedural crime novel to be really exceptional. The first in a series, I admit the first few chapters initially felt a little slow to me. Once the main characters had been introduced, however, and the investigation really began to start along my interest in the plot and the pace of the story really began to pick up and I soon found myself eagerly along for the ride.

I was pleased that most of the characters weren’t too young – I felt there was a good range for the team, with a few highly experienced leaders, a few middle-career characters and a few new and somewhat naïve additions. I felt this gave the team balance but also a believability that helped sell me on the case and team as a whole. And while having one obvious villainous colleague was a little over the top to my mind, it did add some good drama and conflict.

I felt this book had some great atmosphere. The story was faintly dark and gritty and I felt was very atmospheric – very coastal and small Welsh town. Readers should be aware that there are a few issues with DCI Warlow’s personal life and private health questions remain unanswered in this story – but I expect they should/will be addressed in future books in the series. The aspects to the plot and a few of the interesting twists all get answered and squared away very nicely at the end. I felt this was an excellent police procedural style of story and I am very happy to have found a new series.