Michael Fowler

Secrets of the Dead

"..strong plot and believable characters makes for a fine read. "


'I need to tell you about the murder of Lucy Blake-Hall. I know who killed her.' These two sentences, uttered by a retired detective were the last words he said. MIT Civilian Investigator Barry Newstead naturally reported the telephone call when the caller was found brutally murdered.

And so begins an investigation into a current murder connected to a cold case. Lucy Blake-Hall disappeared in August 1983 and has never been found despite a man being jailed for her murder. From the start of the investigation, DS Hunter Kerr and his team uncover a secret which goes back thirty years. Once uncovered it sets in motion a dramatic chain reaction; someone is going to the horrific lengths to keep the truth buried.

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This is the first of Michael Fowler's books I've read but it won't be the last. Fowler writes with a great sense of setting, which combined with strong plot and believable characters makes for a fine read. I thought Hunter Kerr was a fine lead, although I'm not too sure his happy home life will continue. After all, aren't authors supposed to put their characters up a tree and then throw stones at them? Having said this, it made a change from the usual alcoholic with a string of failed relationships. Grace and Leggate filled their roles amply as did Peter Blake-Hall and Alan Darbyshire. The pace increased steadily throughout as the plot whipped back and forth before reaching a satisfying conclusion. The only negative I could find was that the prose was at times overly wordy for my tastes. Given a bit of a tighter edit, a number of unnecessary words could have been cut to help the flow of the story. Having said that, 'Secrets of the Dead' is an entertaining read from first page until last.

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