When the body of a man is found stuffed into a freezer in an unoccupied house, DS Alexandra Cupidi finds herself drawn into a case where people will stop at nothing to keep a decades-old secret hidden. What exactly did this man do to warrant his death and how does it connect to the nearby housing development and the people trying to stop the habitat of badgers from being destroyed? Somebody doesn’t want something found and will kill to protect it from being uncovered.
I have read many crime books, too many to mention, but I can honestly say that this is the first book I have read where part of it is written from the perspective of a badger! Bear with me – this isn’t as strange as it sounds! As much of the book is based around the land where there is a proposed housing development, in addition to getting the experiences of the environmentalists and the developers, I found it an extremely novel idea to learn how this would affect the badgers themselves. As well as this helping to advance the plot, I also found myself learning much about the hierarchy of these creatures and how they live their lives.
The plot progresses slowly, the first half focusing on the dead man and the police investigation into his murder. I found that once I got halfway in, the pace really ramped up as the real reason for the death was discovered. Without giving too much away, we discover that there are links to a closed boarding school, and the activities that took place there many years ago. I liked how William Shaw included a vast array of characters who made you wonder if they were as they seemed or whether they had something to hide. I found my opinion of several of these characters changing constantly as I tried to discover who was behind the death!
Grave’s End is a great read, dealing with some very emotive issues. Although it is the third in a series, it can be read as a standalone although I can definitely recommend the previous books.
With thanks to Quercus and Net Galley for my copy.