Intriguing historical blends mystery and espionage
The Unquiet Grave
by David J Oldman
Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 21 Oct 2016
The Unquiet Grave is not quite a mystery nor a spy novel, but it incorporates elements of both. Captain Harry Tennant's job is to investigate war crimes, not the big cases, but the smaller ones. Most are a matter of form, putting together information from the records of both sides. Oldman is a bit overzealous enumerating the complex movements of troops and the various officers. It is confusing and detracts from an otherwise good story.
Rose Kearney's inquiry into her brother's disappearance is not something Tennant's group would ordinarily handle. There are aspects of the situation that put it in their purview. Two of Kearney's comrades burned to death, but the third was clearly executed. Kearney's remains were not found. Tennant's superiors hope for a quick resolution, attributing the death to some of the German troops in the area. Tennant, however, wants to find the truth and starts asking difficult questions. Questions whose answers may cause more trouble and more danger than anticipated.
As a stand alone novel, The Unquiet Grave is a good mystery - a bit slow and ponderous, but with good characterization and thorough plotting. I might be wrong, but The Unquiet Grave may be the first of a series, providing background for Tennant as he joins the newly formed MI5.
I received a copy of The Unquiet Grave from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
The war may be over, but the it’s devastating effects are not…
Captain Harry Tennant has returned from serving in Italy and North Africa, expecting to be demobbed, only to find his services are still in demand.
A policeman before the war, he’s made part of the Intelligence Corps, investigating war crimes.
Mostly he looks into smaller cases of army personnel who are the victims, or perpetrators of crimes.
That’s how Rose Kearney’s file ends up on his desk.
Her brother William, a soldier with the Hampshire Regiment, was reported missing in action after D-Day. Having heard nothing else since, she’s travelling from their home in Wicklow to find answers.
As Harry starts to investigate, he learns Kearney was part of a carrier crew fighting near Caen.
The bodies from Kearney’s crew are found near a French chateau, with one appearing to have been executed.
But there’s was no sign of Kearney.
Reports of Nazi atrocities nearby are leaking out and at first, it seems the men were victims of the ruthless Nazi machine.
But things aren’t adding up for Tennant.
Why was Kearney’s body never found, and why was an SS officer discovered with the missing man’s disks?
Although his superior, Jekyll, wants the death blamed on the SS and quickly wrapped up, the more Harry digs, the more curious he becomes.
He sets out to find answers, but only seems to dig up more questions.
And it’s not long before Tennant find himself in grave danger…