Driving along the M60, on the way to see his daughter and estranged wife, D I Ridpath finds himself caught up in a bizarre road accident when a near-naked man steps in front of his car before being killed by an articulated lorry. Noticing a man carrying a gun, standing at the side of the motorway, Ridpath is perplexed when nobody else seems to have seen him and CCTV doesn’t appear to have picked him up either. With his health a constant issue and the gangs of Manchester seemingly showing unrest, this looks like being a very testing case for the coroner’s officer.
I really enjoyed the first book in this series (Where the Truth Lies) and I couldn’t wait to see if I would be equally impressed with its follow-up. I am pleased to say that Where the Dead Fall is just as good, if not better! Ridpath is a great character and I like how his work for the coroner’s office gives a different slant on the standard police procedural. Despite my liking for him, though, with regards to his health condition, he is infuriating! With a serious illness hanging over him, and a marriage which is hanging by a thread, on several occasions I found myself imploring him to get to the hospital before something serious happened!
Set in Manchester, a city which is virtually unrecognisable from when it was known as ‘Gunchester’ in the 1990s, the author has shown how easy it is for a place to go back to its old ways. By pitting various gangs against each other, he has created a ticking time bomb that the police are desperate to extinguish before there is any more loss of life. Of course, there is more to this case than meets the eye, and Ridpath does a great job in fathoming out what is really happening.
Where the Dead Fall has a clever plot and was one of those books that I did not want to put down. This has the potential to be one of my favourite series and I’m already looking forward to the third instalment.
With thanks to Canelo and Net Galley for my ARC.