The Body in the Dales
The Body in the Dales A Yorkshire Murder Mystery by J. R. Ellis Amazon Publishing UK Thomas & Mercer General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 09 Aug 2018
Perfect for fans of Midsomer Murders, The Body in the Dales has everything that readers crave - an unusual murder, a wide cast of colorful suspects, a chocolate box village where everyone knows everyone, and a likable group of detectives led by an easygoing but brilliant DCI.
Part of the attraction is the impossible murder. Dave Atkins, a womanizer and all around despicable character is discovered dead in a cave system underground. The journey to where he was found takes at least two hours - and it would be impossible to drag the body along. Forensics shows the body was underground for at least a week, but a team of cavers had gone past this point a few days prior, and the body wasn’t there. So The Body in the Dales isn’t only a whodunnit but a how done it. Naturally someone with caving experience is involved, but the close knit community is filled with cavers, and each and everyone has a motive.
DCI Oldroyd is an eccentric, but his kindly lackadaisical approach hides a brilliant mind. He loves the Yorkshire Dales and its wild beauty, and is a dab hand at dealing with locals. DS Carter is newly assigned from London. He quickly grows to appreciate the peaceful rural setting, and acknowledges that his experience in the city may not have fully prepared him. There is a lot of gentle humor in their interactions, which is appealing. DCI Oldroyd and his team are human, likable. They have a tough job, but they use their brains as opposed to relentless bullying.
The Body in the Dales is a challenging, complex mystery that is certain to please fans of British police procedurals. The characters, topic (caving) and setting keep the reader glued to the page, while there is (as in Midsomer Murders) the certainty that justice will be done and there will be minimal violence other than the murder(s). I highly recommend this charming novel.
5 / 5
I received a copy of The Body in the Dales from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
An unpopular victim. An impossible crime. A murderer on the loose. A body is discovered deep in a cave beneath the Yorkshire Dales. Leading the investigation into the mysterious death are experienced DCI Jim Oldroyd and his partner DS Carter, a newcomer from London. The deceased is Dave Atkins, well known throughout the village but not well liked. While there is no shortage of suspects, the details of the crime leave Oldroyd and Carter stumped. How did Atkins’s body end up in such a remote section of the cave? When someone with vital information turns up dead, it becomes clear that whoever is behind the murders will stop at nothing to conceal their tracks. Oldroyd and his team try to uncover the truth, but every answer unearths a new set of questions. And as secrets and lies are exposed within the close-knit community, the mystery becomes deeper, darker and more complex than the caves below.