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The Body in the Mist

The Body in the Marsh by Nick Louth

DCI Craig Gillard finds himself emotionally involved in a case when a girlfriend from his youth is reported missing. Her husband is seemingly unperturbed, but the case takes a sudden turn when he, too, slips off the radar. A guilty conscience or something more sinister? Running alongside the investigation is another case: a new look into the death of someone known as ‘Girl F’. Just why has no progress been made?

I’m not usually a fan of reading a book series out of order, but that is what has happened with Nick Louth’s Craig Gillard series. Having already read the rest of the series, I thought I had better go back to where it all started! I found that it took me back even further than I was expecting with an insight into Craig’s early life thanks to the investigation into Liz Knight, a woman who also happened to be an ex-girlfriend. I admired Craig’s ability to work through this case, despite his connection to Liz, his dedication to the job in hand being something that is carried through the rest of the series. 

The case is a particularly twisted one, often more twisted than you could ever imagine. I did have my suspicions as to how the plot would play out which proved to be correct, but such is the quality of the author’s storytelling that my enjoyment was not spoiled one bit. In a story which takes in several European countries, we see the determination of Craig and his team to solve the case, discovering links to other crimes in the process. 

Often in police procedurals, the second plot is not as interesting, but this is definitely not the case here. The story of ‘Girl F’ is a heart-wrenching one, and one that made me very angry. We discover that despite giving evidence of her abuse and a description of someone who was involved, no one was ever brought to justice, even after the girl chose to take her own life. There has apparently been some sort of conspiracy of silence, but why? Exactly who is pulling the strings? In a story full of anger, I did find myself laughing when a suspect in the case is delivered to the police – never underestimate a woman!

If you haven’t read any of this series, and you are a plan of police procedurals with great characters and gripping plots, I can thoroughly recommend the Craig Gillard series. Take a look at my reviews of the other books:

The Body on the Shore

The Body in the Mist

The Body in the Snow

The Body Under the Bridge

Monthly Round Up – April 2020

Well, it’s definitely been a very different sort of month. I hope that all of you are managing to keep well and that books are giving you a few moments where you don’t have to think about what is happening in the world. Working from home has given me a bit more reading time and I’ve also started to listen to some audio books courtesy of my local library.

Books I Have Read

The Death Certificate by Stephen Molyneux

It’s been a while since I read the author’s first book so I was pleased to see he’d finally written a second! Set partly in the present day and partly in the Victorian era, this is a great read and I sincerely hope we don’t have to wait as long for the next book!

 

Strangers by C L Taylor

From the start when we meet three characters, unfamiliar to each other, standing with a dead body, I was hooked! I loved her last book, Sleep, but I think I enjoyed this one even more!

 

The Body Under the Bridge by Nick Louth

The fifth in the Craig Gillard series is just as good as the rest. There’s a particularly clever serial killer and, for some of Craig’s team, he might just be someone the already know…

 

 

Remain Silent by Susie Steiner

This is the third in a series that continues to go from strength to strength. DS Manon Bradshaw investigates the death of an immigrant worker, dealing with many prejudices along the way. A superb read.

 

 

The Secret of the Chateau by Kathleen McGurl

Another historical timeslip novel from Kathleen McGurl takes us to the time of the French Revolution. Mystery, death, history, intrigue – this had it all! I always look forward to Kathleen McGurl’s books and this one did not let me down. Review to follow as part of the blog tour.

 

Why Mummy Drinks by Gill Sims

The first in the series introduces us to Ellen and her family. In these worrying times, this gave me a much-needed bit of light relief due to the many laugh-out-loud moments.

 

 

Killing Mind by Angela Marsons

I’m still amazed as to how Angela Marsons keeps this series going with such a high standard! In Killing Mind, Kim Stone and her team investigate a cult, putting a member of her team in danger in the process. Fans of this series are going to absolutely love this! Review to follow.

 

Love Me To Death by Susan Gee

A creepy tale of a warped killer plying his trade in Stockport. In a town full of secrets, who exactly has something to hide? Review will follow as part of the blog tour.

 

 

Sherlock Holmes: The Rediscovered Railway Mysteries by John Taylor

Highly recommended for fans of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, especially as the audio book is narrated by Shelock himself – Benedict Cumberbatch!

 

Books I Have Acquired

Two sisters on trial for murder. They accuse each other.
Who do YOU believe?

‘911 what’s your emergency?’

‘My dad’s dead. My sister Sofia killed him. She’s still in the house. Please send help.’

‘My dad’s dead. My sister Alexandra killed him. She’s still in the house. Please send help.’

One of them is a liar and a killer.

But which one?

 

Outside a remote manor house in an idyllic wood, a baby girl is found.

The Harrington family takes her in and disbelief quickly turns to joy. They’re grieving a terrible tragedy of their own and the beautiful baby fills them with hope, lighting up the house’s dark, dusty corners. Desperate not to lose her to the authorities, they keep her secret, suspended in a blissful summer world where normal rules of behaviour – and the law – don’t seem to apply.

But within days a body will lie dead in the grounds. And their dreams of a perfect family will shatter like glass.
Years later, the truth will need to be put back together again, piece by piece . . .

 

Bubbles of cold sweat trickled down Faye’s spine. The hole wasn’t empty. Before she could turn and run, she caught the two sightless eyes staring up at her. Only then did she scream.

When Faye Baker discovers a fragile child’s skull behind the walls of her new home, Detective Lottie Parker is called to investigate. The house has been owned for years by the family of Faye’s boyfriend Jeff, so when Jeff starts acting suspiciously, Lottie wonders what he might be hiding…

Lottie doesn’t have long to dig deeper before a child’s bones are found by eleven-year-old Gavin on nearby railway tracks. The bones don’t match the small skull behind the walls, but Lottie can’t ignore the coincidence. Someone out there must be missing their loved ones and it’s up to her to put right a terrible wrong.

Unable to shake a feeling of foreboding, Lottie goes to speak to Faye, and discovers that she hasn’t turned up for work. When Faye’s body is found stuffed in the back of her car, Lottie needs to find out who wanted her to keep quiet.

As Lottie hunts for Faye’s killer, the case takes a darker turn when Gavin goes missing. Faye and Gavin are connected only by the grisly body parts they discovered. But who are these little victims and why has their killer come back? Can Lottie find the answers before another precious life is taken?

 

You don’t want to play their games…

All around Albuquerque, New Mexico, young women are going missing, seemingly vanished into thin air. With no link between the victims, Detective Alyssa Wyatt is quickly plunged into a horrifying case with no obvious clues.

And when Jersey Andrews, the best friend of Alyssa’s teenage daughter, Holly, joins the list of vanished girls, the case becomes personal.

But this investigation will lead Alyssa and partner Cord into the most sinister depths of humanity; an evil place where life is expendable, and where the depraved can fulfil their darkest desires – if they have the money to pay for it.

As the first bodies appear, abandoned on the streets, Alyssa is forced into a frantic hunt to track down the killers – before more innocent women lose their lives. But when the truth comes out, it seems that the key to solving the case was hiding in the last place anyone expected…

 

Have you read any of these? What did you think? Hopefully, May will bring a less scary month for us all.

The Body in the Snow by Nick Louth

When a trainee CSI goes out for a run one early, snowy morning, the last thing she expects is to be is a witness to a barbaric crime: the body of a woman is found, bludgeoned to death by a passing cyclist. The victim, Tanvi Roy, is something of a celebrity and, thanks to her food empire, is one of Britain’s richest women. Due to the complexities of her work and family life, DCI Craig Gillard must delve deep into her past to find a motive and, hopefully, the killer.

The Body in the Snow is the fourth book in the DCI Craig Gillard series and although there are a few references to the previous book, this would only really be noticeable to anyone who has read it so this can definitely be read as a standalone.

Again, Nick Louth has constructed a complex plot, this time revolving around a wealthy Hindu family and the conflicts between the traditional way of doing things and the desire of the younger generation to move with the times. In a book with so many characters, it would be easy to get lost, but each one is so well-written that this is never the case. The abundance of characters helped to create a proper ‘whodunit’, each person seemingly having their own motive for wanting Mrs Roy dead.

The Body in the Snow is definitely a police procedural in that, as well as the main focus of the plot being on the investigation, we also get to read about the forensics involved in the case. I enjoyed reading about how, at the start of the story, Kirsty Mockett, the trainee CSI, fought to preserve evidence using less than orthodox techniques.

As someone who has read the previous book in this series, I was unnerved by the mentions of a particular character and look forward to seeing if this person plays a role in what looks like an excellent fifth installment, my appetite being whetted by the inclusion of an extract at the end of this book.

If you haven’t read any of this series, I can highly recommend them. Take a look at my reviews of other Nick Louth books:

The Body in the Mist

The Body on the Shore

With thanks to Canelo and Net Galley for my copy.

My Books of 2019

2019 has seen some amazing books being published and it has been hard to find my favourite ten out of all of the great books that I have read. Yesterday, I finished an amazing book, Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton, but I’ve decided that, as it isn’t published until January 9th, I will save it for next year’s list!  After much deliberation, this is my list, in no particular order.

First Blood by Angela Marsons

Bookouture published a surprise sequel to the Kim Stone series and what an absolute corker is is! Great for existing fans of this series but, also, a great introduction for anyone who hasn’t yet read any of the previous books.

 

All His Pretty Girls by Charly Cox

As someone who isn’t a huge fan of police procedurals set in the USA, this debut completely blew me away. With a breathtaking, fast-paced serial killer plot, I really hope this isn’t the last we see of Detective Alyssa Wyatt.

 

Sleep by C L Taylor

With a claustrophobic plot reminiscent of a modern-day Agatha Christie novel, Sleep was one of those books that definitely lived up to the online hype. A tense thriller with some great twists.

 

Avaline Saddlebags by Netta Newbound & Marcus Brown

This graphic serial killer novel was like a breath of fresh air with its gritty plot and light-hearted moments. I am sincerely hoping that we see more of the likeable DI Dylan Monroe.

 

The Guilty Mother by Diane Jeffrey

This twisty tale of a potential miscarriage of justice is one of those books where no matter how hard you try to figure it out, there is always a nagging doubt at the back of your mind. The ending genuinely made me gasp!

 

On My Life by Angela Clarke

This well-researched novel about a possible miscarriage of justice and life inside a women’s prison is one of those plots that will stay with me for a long time to come. I’ve loved all of this author’s books but this one is special.

 

Twisted by Steve Cavanagh

If awards were being given out for the most apt title, then this would definitely win! Just when you think you have it all worked out, Steve Cavanagh hits you with yet another twist and makes you rethink everything once again!

 

Their Little Secret by Mark Billingham

This, the sixteenth book in the DI Thorne series, is probably one of my favourites. Do we always know the people closest to us?

 

The Body in the Mist by Nick Louth

This is the third book in the DCI Craig Gillard series but, if you haven’t read the previous books, it can be read as a standalone. This story of a hit and run and the exposure of decades-old family secrets is one that you can immediately visualise on the small screen.

 

Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson

The one that all fans of the Nathan Cody series had been waiting for – we found out more about the clowns! If you haven’t read any of this series, I cannot recommend it highly enough!

 

I’d love to know your thoughts. Are any of these books on your ‘best of…’ list?

Monthly Round Up – May 2019

A bit of a mixed bag for me, this month, genre-wise with crime, biography and genealogical fiction all being read! I’ve also taken part in several blog tours, sharing reviews and extracts:

 

The Body in the Mist

The Family

Death and the Harlot

Death by Dark Waters

Foul Deeds Will Rise

A Walking Shadow

Books I Have Read

When Darkness Calls by Mark Griffin

The first in a new series and a debut book for the author, this has a great twisty serial killer plot with some genuinely tense moments. Holly Wakefield, criminal psychologist, is a great character. I look forward to seeing what comes next.

 

 

Night by Night by Jack Jordan

Another great book from Jack Jordan sees unreliable narrator, Rose, fixated with the disappearance of a man whose journal she has acquired. Dealing with some hard-hitting issues, this has a very thrilling showdown at the end!

 

Legacy of Guilt by Wendy Percival

This free short book, available on the author’s website, is a great introduction to her Esme Quentin series. If you’ve never read a genealogical mystery before, this is an excellent introduction.

 

A Date With Death by Mark Roberts

The fifth book in the Eve Clay series sees the detective investigating a serial killer who is targeting young women via a dating app. Another great book from Mark Roberts.

 

The Body in the Mist by Nick Louth

This is definitely a case of being thankful for your own family when we discover how dysfunctional DCI Craig Gillard’s is! A hit and run takes him to Exmoor where he is about to become embroiled in a very complicated case…

 

Bold Lies by Rachel Lynch

A complicated case for DI Kelly Porter sees her return to London and become reacquainted with a face from her past. My review for the fifth in the series will be published shortly as part of the blog tour.

 

What Nobody Knew by Amelia Hendrey

A heart-wrenching true story of a young girl’s life of abuse and neglect that had me angry throughout. My review will be part of the blog tour in a few weeks.

 

 

Salt Lane by William Shaw

A book I had been meaning to read for a while, it finally came off my TBR list and I’m glad it did. The first in the DS Alexandra Cupidi series sees the detective investigating the murder of a woman which soon becomes a much bigger case…

 

Books I Have Acquired

On a bitterly cold winter night, Kelly Ramage leaves her suburban home, telling her husband she’s going to meet a friend.

She never comes back.

When her body is discovered, murdered in what seems to be a sex game gone horribly wrong, Detectives Gino and Magozzi take the case, expecting to find a flirtatious trail leading straight to the killer.

However, Kelly’s sinister lover has done a disturbingly good job of hiding his identity. This isn’t his first victim – and that she won’t be the last…

 

Was Elizabeth I really the last Tudor princess…?

Nonsuch Palace, England, 1586

Elizabeth I has been queen for 28 years. She has survived hundreds of plots against her but now she faces the revelation of a secret she thought would remain hidden forever…

Elizabeth is not the last of the Tudor line — there are two more legitimate heirs to her crown.

Her sworn enemy, Philip II, King of Spain, has discovered the secret and thinks he can control the missing princess as his puppet queen.

Can Elizabeth maintain control over her throne? And what happened to the lost Tudor heirs?

Castle Jerusalem, Andorra, 2018

Dr Perdita Rivers and her twin sister Piper are safely hidden in Andorra.

Despite their narrow escape from those pursuing them, Perdita is determined to continue her grandmother’s legacy by uncovering her ground-breaking research into the English royal bloodline.

But she soon realises that nothing about the Tudor era was as it seemed. And now the national identity of Great Britain must be called into question.

With their enemies still tracking them and the lives of those they love in deadly risk, Perdita and Piper must succeed in exposing the secrets of history or there is no hope of them escaping alive…

 

D.C. Charlie Stafford is about to face her toughest case yet…

Someone is watching, waiting and preying on those who are at their weakest.

Uncover another gripping case in Sarah Flint’s latest action packed novel.

 

 

 

 

Happy reading!

 

 

**BLOG TOUR** The Body in the Mist by Nick Louth

I really enjoyed the previous book in this series, The Body on the Shore, so I am pleased to be able to share an extract from the latest DCI Craig Gillard book, The Body in the Mist. This is another fantastic book and my review can be read here.

A body is found on a quiet lane in Exmoor, victim of a hit and run. He has no ID, no wallet, no phone, and – after being dragged along the road – no recognisable face. Meanwhile, fresh from his last case, DCI Craig Gillard is unexpectedly called away to Devon on family business. Gillard is soon embroiled when the car in question is traced to his aunt. As he delves deeper, a dark mystery reveals itself, haunted by family secrets, with repercussions Gillard could never have imagined. The past has never been deadlier.

 

 

After being woken at seven by Napoleon scratching at the door, Gillard and Sam were lured downstairs by the smell of bacon. Trish watched them each consume a full cooked breakfast, but ate nothing herself.

‘I’ve got a small errand to run, then I’ll go and make friends with the local constabulary to find out what they know about the hit-and-run,’ Gillard said. ‘I’m sure I’ll be about as welcome as an outbreak of the plague, so don’t expect too much.’

‘I’m sure you’ll be able to straighten it out, dear.’

Gillard had to wait 45 minutes at reception at Barnstaple police station for Detective Inspector Jan Talantire. He had already looked her up on the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary website, so recognized her immediately as she walked in. If he had not done so, he would have pigeonholed her as a mid-ranking business executive in her late thirties: expensively coiffed, in a smartly cut white blouse, black trouser suit and houndstooth jacket. He knew from what Sam had told him how much those highlight hairdos cost. Talantire was on the phone, but had instantly eyed Gillard and turned her back to shield her confidentiality. After keeping Gillard waiting another five frustrating minutes, she hung up, turned and offered a brief but firm handshake. ‘Thanks for the email, Craig, if I may call you that. There were some good questions. But come on, you’re experienced, you know the score. Given your links to the Antrobus family, I can’t share any of our thinking about this case so long as there is the slightest uncertainty about who drove that vehicle.’

‘I understand perfectly,’ Gillard said. ‘I’m not here to make life difficult, but if I can help in any way, I’m available. You’ve got my contact details.’

She smiled. A keen intelligence shone in her brown eyes ‘We could always do with more hands on deck, just not from you, or on this particular case.’ She paused, and he felt her scrutinizing him. ‘I looked you up. Quite an impressive track record. Solved the Martin Knight murder case. Must have been tricky, given your connection to Mrs Knight.’

‘It was.’ Gillard immediately realized what a sharp brain this woman had. Picking the only other case in which he had a conflict of interest, asking around enough to discover something not mentioned in any of the official reports.

At that moment a young uniformed constable emerged from the door and called out to her. ‘Forensics called, ma’am.’ He waved a piece of paper. ‘We’ve got a match for the fingerprints on the can. Bit of a likely boy—’

‘Willow, zip it,’ Talantire said, flicking her fingers away from her to indicate the young constable should return through the door he’d so foolishly entered by. She excused herself to Gillard, then followed the PC, closing the door behind them.

* * *

Talantire was furious. She snatched the piece of paper from Willow’s hand and quickly scanned it. These were the results she’d been awaiting. Half a dozen different sets of prints from inside the vehicle, one matching the owner, one matching a known local bad boy. She looked up at the PC, then pointed a thumb over her shoulder, through the now closed door. ‘Do you know who that is?’

‘Yes, he introduced himself earlier, a Detective Chief Inspector…’ The constable screwed his face up trying to remember the name.

Talantire helped him out. ‘Craig Gillard, from Surrey.’

‘That’s the one. I saw him up at the crime scene this morning. He was quite helpful.’

‘The crime scene! Clifford,’ she said, gripping the constable by the shoulders, ‘that detective is the nephew of Barbara Antrobus.’

‘Is he? Is that why he’s come all the way down here?’

Talantire nodded, waiting while the cogs in Willow’s brain slowly turned. She found herself fervently wishing that Avon Police up in Bristol would hurry up and allocate the promised two detective constables to help her while DS Charmaine Stafford was on maternity leave. ‘Did he cross the crime tape? If he did, I’ll bloody nail him.’

‘No, we chatted outside the cordon.’

‘You chatted, did you? So what did he want to know?’

‘Just about where the body was, what condition he was in. He asked whether we had done fingerprints on the car, tyre analysis, and established whether the locks had been forced.’

‘I hope you didn’t answer any of those questions.’

The constable looked sheepish. ‘I didn’t see any reason not to. He showed me his card, mentioned your name, so I thought he was part of the investigation.’

Stupid boy. ‘Willow, from now on, do not tell him anything. On principle, okay? If it turns out that Barbara Antrobus was the hit-and-run driver, you might well have compromised any chance we have of getting a clean case to the Crown Prosecution Service.’

‘But we got all the fingerprint results through. And the fingerprints from the can in the car, they match Micky Tuffin. That’s what I was telling you—’

‘And broadcasting to everyone sitting in reception,’ she said.

‘He’s a bad ’un, Micky Tuffin,’ Willow said. ‘Regular car thief. Right from school.’

‘Your school?’

‘My year, my class. I know all about him. I had the desk in front.’

She rolled her eyes. ‘For God’s sake.’ She leaned back against the door, momentarily closing her eyes. ‘Okay, thanks for letting me know. Was he a friend?’

‘You’re kidding,’ Willow said, grinning. ‘I hated him. We had a punch-up during year nine.’

‘All right, to be squeaky clean, I’m still going to have to keep you away from that side of the investigation. Christ, another conflict of interest. Confine yourself to dealing with the leads that come in on the victim. Keep off the driver side of the investigation.’

Angry now, Talantire dismissed the young constable, turned on her heel and went out to confront Gillard.

He was nowhere to be seen.

The Body in the Mist was published by Canelo on 20th May.

With thanks to Nick Louth & Canelo and to Ellie Pilcher for organising the blog tour.

 

 

 

The Body in the Mist by Nick Louth

The body of a man is found on a quiet Exmoor Lane, seemingly the victim of a hit and run. With no clues to his identity and a severely damaged face, the police are finding it impossible to identify the deceased. Meanwhile, DCI Craig Gillard is called away to Devon on family business and finds himself embroiled in the case when the car involved in the hit and run is traced back to his aunt. As he digs deeper, Craig starts to uncover long-hidden family secrets which will have serious repercussions for his whole family…

There are dysfunctional families and then there is Craig Gillard’s family! Summoned to help his aunt when she is linked to the hit and run, he soon finds that there is much more to her story than meets the eye. I admired Craig’s integrity when he found himself in an extremely difficult position, even if the local police force were not initially enamoured with his desire to help. Craig’s family are not likeable at all and it was satisfying to see the stance he took when trying to uncover the truth.

It is hard not to feel sympathy for Craig as, slowly, more and more secrets are revealed about his family, none of them positive. It is a wonder he is as normal as he is as we discover the crimes and misdemeanors that have been taking place in his family for decades. One of these crimes, a cold case which Craig decides to investigate, was my favourite part of the plot and I was very pleased with its outcome. I felt really sorry for Craig’s wife who supports him throughout the book, not knowing what secrets he, himself, is hiding.

Sometimes you read a book and start to visualise what it would look like on TV and this was definitely the case for me with The Body in the Mist. This book really does have everything – a modern-day police investigation, a cold case, heinous family secrets and a criminal trial – and I could quite easily see this as a mini-series. I, for one, would be gripped!

Although this is the third in the series, it can be read as a standalone so it is not essential to have read the previous two. I have read the previous book, The Body on the Shore, and whilst I really enjoyed that one, The Body in the Mist really is something special. Just when I thought the book had reached its conclusion, the twist at the end truly made me gasp – it will be interesting to see what happens in book 4 as a result of this revelation!

If you haven’t read any of this series yet, you won’t go far wrong by starting with The Body in the Mist. One of my favourite reads of the year so far.

With thanks to Canelo and Net Galley for my ARC. If my review has made you curious, stay tuned to my blog as on May 27th, as part of the blog, tour, I have a great extract to share with you.

 

 

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