Dead To Me by JM Dalgliesh

Dead To Me by JM Dalgliesh
Publisher: Hamilton Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Let go of your past… or it will be the death of you…

When a man’s body is discovered crammed into the boot of an abandoned car in a remote location, DI Tom Janssen and his team must unpick his life to find out how he came to be there.

The victim was a local man, popular with some although hated by others, and he had a habit of making enemies, enemies that any sane man would seek to avoid. For once, the team do not struggle to find a suspect or a motive for his murder, but with several to choose from, how can they determine who delivered the killing blows? Those who despised the man are unrepentant and as the investigation develops there seems to be more going on than a simple act of vengeance. What did the deceased have to hide and who was so intent on keeping their own secrets that they were prepared to brutally kill to do so?

With a killer at large the public are restless, reassured only by the suggestion that the murder is an act perpetrated by figures within the criminal community against one of their own, but when a troubled teenage girl disappears fear takes hold in the small coastal town. The only potential witness is an eccentric homeless man who comes and goes as he pleases, often disappearing for months at a time. Who did he see? What does he know? Will he be the next to be silenced?

What looked like a simple revenge attack will turn into a race against time for Tom and his team as they try to protect the innocent and reveal the guilty… only no one knows with any certainty who belongs in which camp.

DI Tom Janssen and his team are called in when the body of a man is found crammed into the boot of a car in a remote and abandoned lot. After quickly identifying the man, the team all too soon realise that with his shady dealings there were any number of people who might have wanted the man dead. Can they uncover what really happened when there are so many different things that might have gone wrong?

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this series and found this book to be an excellent addition. While most of the team are very well known friends there are a few new characters that appear to be sticking around and that helped keep the various dynamics and relationships feeling fresh. I have been particularly pleased with Eric’s character and – admittedly very slow moving – development. I am very hopeful that things might finally be getting better and easier for him. I was also really impressed that the two different plots managed to cross over without feeling like it was forced or too cliched. I feel like the author did an excellent job making this believable and it didn’t push me too far out on the logical and believability scale.

Readers who pick this book up fresh might find they need a bit of help to piece together some of the history and camaraderie between the team members, but overall I feel this book should prove equally enjoyable to readers new to the series as well as readers like me who have read them all previously. The plot itself and much of the interactions are very well contained in this book and quite well explained.

I feel readers who enjoy British police procedurals with a solid mystery plot and interesting and modern characters should find this an excellent book and I can easily recommend the entire series as well worth the effort. Recommended.

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