I seem to be on a run of excellent books at the moment, hardly a ‘tut’ or a groan has passed my lips recently. Feeling a little lost after finishing all of Elly Grifiths Dr Ruth Gallagher stories, and then her Brighton mysteries, and then reading the remaining Stephen Booth Cooper and Fry Mysteries, I read:
A Kind of Vanishing – Lesley Thomson
False Value – Ben Aaronovitch
A man With One of Those Faces – Caimh McDonnell
Blue Mountain -Meir Shalev
Apple Tree Lean Down
The Taiga Syndrome – Cristina Rivera Garza
So I have been doing a lot of reading, but for the last few months have been waiting publication of the latest from a favourite author of mine. Damien Boyd writes novels set in Somerset and as I live in that county it’s marvellous to know the places where the action takes place. Even if I don’t know the locations exactly, I have an idea where they are and how they relate to each other, and then there is (or used to be) the fun of driving round Boyd-spotting.
Damien Boyd’s latest book is the latest in his series featuring DI and soon promoted to DCI Nick Dixon and his team of officers who work out of Bridgwater. The crime he’s solving in ‘Down among the Dead’ involves a murdered body found in an archaeological dig on the site of the Battle of Sedgemoor:
The Battle of Sedgemoor was the last and decisive engagement between the Kingdom of England and rebels lead by the Duke on Monmouth during the Monmouth rebellion, fought on 6 July 1685, and took place at Westonzoyland near Bridgwater in Somerset, England, resulting in a victory for the English army.
Without giving too much away, the body is of someone who disappeared fifteen years ago, suspected of being the victim of a man sent to prison for other murders, known as the Scytheman. It was discovered during the course of the dig and seems to have some associated significance with the history of the area, so understanding what happened during the course of the battle, and what preceded and followed it, becomes crucial to the plot. So as well as being an intriguing mystery, we learned some intriguing history too! As someone now living in Somerset, I know about the battle, but I’m not sure many people outside the area would know of it, or the appalling aftermath, except as a date in a history book.
I’ve enjoyed every one of Damien’s books, maybe my favourite was Dead Level set during the 2014 floods, maybe it was, my favourite is now @Down Among the Dead’! I read it way into the night until my eyes went blurry, then as soon as I woke up I had to carry on and stayed in bed until it was finished. As you can gather, I really recommend it to you!