To Die For by JM Dalgliesh

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

What line would you cross for the one you love?
When the body of a man is found in his remote, isolated home, DI Tom Janssen and his team struggle to understand what motive there could be to murder such an inoffensive, seemingly placid local character.

The man lived alone, was well known in the community but kept his distance from others leading a haphazard way of life. What secrets did he hide in his private life that might be worth killing for?

As the team are about to understand, even the most nondescript of people can exist in a world darker than most of us will ever see…

Set within the mysterious beauty of coastal Norfolk, this fast-paced British detective novel is a dark murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end when the final shocking twist is revealed.

DI Tom Janssen and his team try to unravel the apparent murder of a quiet, solitary local man. He – and his parents before him – have lived on their small farm for decades and while many of the locals know him and are superficially friendly, no one really seems to be close to him at all. And when a second – seemingly unrelated – body gets washed up on the tide can the team discover to motive and reasons behind both cases?

I found this to be a really enjoyable, slower paced, British police procedural mystery/suspense novel. While the book is part of a larger series – the “Hidden Norfolk” series – I strongly feel this can be picked up and read by itself and thoroughly enjoyed. Tom’s team works very well together – but with a new officer starting her way and the other’s meshing together into a tight knit group I don’t feel readers new to this series and missing much of the previous cases and background will really feel the lack of that. The few tidbits (like Eric’s wedding and such) are very well detailed and explained and I feel should be easy for a new reader to slide right in.

Most importantly of all – the two main cases in this story are very well plotted and are very self-contained within this story. I found the pace of the story was good enough for me to be reading along quite enthusiastically and eager to know more – but it wasn’t an action orientated or breakneck pace, I didn’t have to go back and re-check things I might have missed the first go around which I thought was great.

Readers looking for a solid, well woven and smaller town feel to their mysteries should find this book exactly fits that purpose. I also enjoyed the fact the police team was somewhat smaller than you often find – around five primary characters – so I didn’t have any problems juggling around the main characters or trying to keep everything clear in my head. I found this a comfortable, smooth and engrossing read with a solid mystery, two plots that were both equally intriguing and enough questions that it took me a while to sort out what I thought was going on under the surface.

A strongly written mystery with good characters and an interesting outline – this was a great book and a series I can heartily recommend.

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