Angel Of Death by JM Dalgliesh

Angel Of Death by JM Dalgliesh
Publisher: Hamilton Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

An innocent man has everything to fear…

When the partial remains of a young woman are unearthed during a violent storm, it falls to DI Tom Janssen and his team to discover her identity and what brought her there.

A man is released from prison having been the apparent victim of a miscarriage of justice and returns home to rural Norfolk. Questions are being asked, not only of the police and their flawed investigation, but also of the man himself. A loner, strange and disinterested, is he truly innocent? Convicted without a body, if he didn’t commit the murder he was sent to jail for, then where is she? Has a guilty man managed to evade justice and get away with murder or has a killer been hiding within the community all along?

Tensions are running high among the locals, people are split, with some threatening to take justice into their own hands. Old wounds, still to fully heal, are reopened and everyone wants resolution. But will Tom and his team be able to offer it, or will the investigation reveal dark secrets, long harboured, that will tear families apart?

A violent storm uproots a tree and uncovers parts of a dismembered body of a young woman. DI Tom Janssen is immediately drawn into the complicated investigation – a man having been imprisoned for five years, convicted of murdering the young lady, only to be released and now her body seeming to irrevocably prove he was innocent. With the small community up in arms, the local circus travelers back in town and the family of the victim all circling around, outraged tempers are running high, and Tom and his team need to use their every skill to solve this murder.

I’ve been really enjoying this series and this latest book is an excellent addition. I found the mystery plot compelling and well woven. All the main characters are present and work extremely well together as a team and with a bunch of strong secondary characters I feel many mystery readers should find this an excellent book to pick up. While there’s plenty of history between the main characters and the team working together, the plot and most of the book should be very easily read by itself – I don’t really feel it necessary for any of the previous books to have been read before this one. That said there are a few larger character arcs going on – Tom and his imminent marriage, and Eric and his small family in particular – that had some more movement and insights added which should appeal to readers who have been enjoying the series for a while.

While the main plot is a fairly standard police procedural for a small British country town, I do feel the author handled the various tempers and characters quite well. I thought there was a strong semblance of reality and logic without the usual characters or easy prejudices thrown in simply to make some drama. I feel the overall tone of the book was really well handled and I greatly enjoyed both the plot and the flow of the story right from the start.

Readers looking for something heavily action orientated might not find this suits their tastes – but for a well plotted, strongly written British murder mystery I felt this was a good book and a series I am greatly enjoying.

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