Blood Runs Cold by JM Dalgliesh

Blood Runs Cold by JM Dalgliesh
Publisher: Hamilton Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Believe in nothing… and kill for something…

When a man’s dismembered body is discovered at an abandoned quarry on the north Norfolk coast, DI Tom Janssen and his team must wade through his secretive life to figure out how he met his end.

The victim was a quiet man, well respected by those who knew him, and someone often willing to help local charities with his free time. Presenting an image of himself to the world of a simple, inoffensive individual, he never allowed anyone close enough to look behind the mask. As his associations become clearer, the team realise that there are others with secrets of their own… but are they willing to kill to keep them that way?

With a community reeling from such a gruesome and seemingly macabre act of violence the pressure is on to get a result. When the investigation crosses paths with another operated by the Major Crimes Unit, Tom begins to question who the real victim is and why, to some, the murder is such a low priority?

Kids messing around with fireworks in a local abandoned quarry manage to unearth a dismembered body. DI Tom Janssen and his team try hard to uncover who the mutilated corpse might belong to. With no official means of IDing the body they finally settle on a secretive – but generally well liked – man who they feel might be the victim, only to discover the more they search the harder it is to work out what really happened. With pressures from both outside and within the local team, can Tom and his team find some justice?

I have been greatly enjoying this series and feel this book is an excellent addition to it. While the members of the team have been working well together now for a number of years, I don’t feel like a reader should shy away from picking up this book if they haven’t read any of the previous ones. There is history between the team, yes, but it’s all fairly clear how they work well together and there’s not many in-secrets or group dynamics that can’t easily be picked up on. Readers shouldn’t worry about reading this or the other books out of order.

I thoroughly enjoyed how through most of the book the identity of the victim remained in doubt. While yes, the team had a good idea of who the body was and tried to piece together what had occurred, this in itself was what most of the mystery of the story was and I enjoyed this as a different style of plot. I admit the pace of this book might read a little slow to some readers – instead of rushing around and chasing many clues with an over-arching feeling of dread or rush, this was very much a slow and methodical working together of secrets and puzzle pieces. I admit this was a different tone of book, but I enjoyed it.

Readers looking for an interesting, layered plotline with a British police procedural flavour should find this is an excellent book to enjoy. I found the characters varied and the book retained my attention throughout. I am eager to try more – both in this series and others – by this author.

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