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The Cadaver Game: Number 16 in series (Wesley Peterson) [Paperback]

Kate Ellis
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Aug 2012 Wesley Peterson (Book 16)

When the decaying body of a murdered woman is discovered in a suburban house following an anonymous tip off, DI Wesley Peterson has problems establishing her identity. But as he digs deeper, he has another more disturbing case to investigate - the naked bodies of two teenagers have been found with shotgun wounds at the foot of a cliff.

Both cases become stranger when Wesley realises they are linked to a sinister manhunt, mirroring events from the time of the Napoleonic Wars. Why did the teenage victims take part in an online game called Blood Hunt, which they were eventually persuaded to play for real?

Then a skeleton is found near the place where the dead teenagers were last seen alive and Wesley finally has to face a terrible truth . . . and a hunt to the death.

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Frequently Bought Together

The Cadaver Game: Number 16 in series (Wesley Peterson) + The Jackal Man: Number 15 in series (Wesley Peterson) + The Shadow Collector (Wesley Peterson)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus (2 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749953772
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749953775
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 269,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Ellis was born in Liverpool and studied drama in Manchester. Kate has twice been nominated for the Crime Writers' Association Short Story Dagger and has alse been nominated for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Visit her at

Product Description


[It's] a riveting page-turner. If you still haven't discovered the formidable talents of Kate Ellis, now's the time (Bella)

Book Description

The 16th Wesley Peterson crime novel...and they just get better and better!

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intricately plotted this is an absorbing tale, 17 Feb 2012
An anonymous telephone call points the police to the discovery of a dead body at a cottage in Morbay. The place is rented to a Tessa Trencham but the body has been lying there a while, and the maggots have been busy so visual identification is not possible. Investigating are DI Wesley Peterson and his boss DCI Gerry Heffernan. Whilst they are seeking dental records, the bodies of two teenagers are found naked and shot.

Always short of money for his digs archaeologist Neil Watson, Wesley's university friend, has reluctantly accepted a bizarre commission from an artist, who has permission from the son of the owner of Catton Hall to dig up a `Feast of Art' in one of his fields, but Neil is having a hard job, keeping his volunteers motivated.

Running along side the current investigations is a separate story of manhunts in 1815 and related through two journals, one kept by John Tandy, a jester and the other by Christopher Wells, steward to Squire Edward Catton, an ancestor of the current owner of Catton Hall..

Searching for a motive for the killing of the teenagers, Wesley discovers that they were both playing an online game, Blood Hunt. Could they be playing this online game for real? And if so, who is the organiser?

Intricately plotted this is an absorbing tale, as the past merges into the present. Who could be running human hunts? How fascinating is it that history could be repeating it self.

A dual tale of human hunting that gives us pause for thought. Can this happen today?
Highly recommended.
Lizzie Hayes
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cadaver Game 7 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A woman's body is found in a house. She has been dead a week. The automatic assumption is that she is probably the tenant of the rented property but then one of her friends claims to have spoken to her on the phone and that she is in France. Wesley Peterson and the investigation team think the friend is lying. Then the bodies of two teenagers are found on a beach and one of them is DC Paul Johnson's cousin. Wesley's archaeologist friend Neil is digging up a picnic for an artist who deliberately buried it sixteen years ago. He does not expect to find a skeleton.

When it starts to emerge that a group of people are involved in a game called Blood Hunt the story becomes darker and more deadly. Why would anyone want to pursue naked teenagers through the woods at night and why would the teenagers want to take part? Wesley and his boss Gerry are baffled by the ramifications of these cases - are they all connected or is it coincidence? As ever it is dedicated and methodical police work which unravels the crimes and ensures the criminals are brought to justice.

I enjoyed this complex and many layered mystery and liked the way past and present are linked. I also liked the way the relationships between police characters are developed over the series. I think the way past and present are shown to be connected is also very well done with some interesting extracts from (imaginary) journals from the beginning of the nineteenth century bringing the hunting vividly to life. I recommend this series to anyone who likes crime novels which are that bit different.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Always a good read. 9 Sep 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I enjoy all Kate Ellis books, especially the Wesley Peterson series. This one is a reliably good read that doesn't try to be clever. Ideal for a holiday read, or sitting in the garden.
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I love Kate Eliss's novels and have recently read her most current, The Shroud Maker which was fantastic. This novel, for me was a liitle tricky to read. It was not due to her lack of ability as an author, just a personal thing as the murder game itself centres around a group of teenagers who are pursued for fun. I found it uncomfortable but I think that is simply because I have three of my own, all boys and it felt too personal. The premise of the novel involves murders linked to an online game (a little similar to The Shroud Maker) with a sinister motif behind the seeminglessly harmless bit of fun. The writing as always is great, moves along well with an interesting set of characters alongside the usual cast. The archaological input I found very interesting as was the story telling of the game played back in a previous century. It is a very good story and not to be discouraged by my own personal take on it. I would highly recommend if you are a fan of this author but for me this one was a bit too close to home.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Kate Ellis' writing career began with the publication of 'The Merchant's House', the first Wesley Peterson investigation, back in 1998. 'The Cadaver Game' is the sixteenth in the Wesley Peterson series, and in the last five or six years she has also published four novels featuring DI Joe Plantagenet, set in York, and one stand-alone novel, The Devil's Priest, published in 2006. A second stand-alone novel is scheduled for publication next year.

'The Cadaver Game' gets into gear from the outset. Two teenagers are shot dead on page 5; on page 6, the intercut sub-plot set in 1815 gets underway with the promise of more violence, and on page 8 a maggot-infested body is discovered. There is no shortage of action, and it continues until the final solution emerges some 350 pages later. Other reviewers have provided additional details of the plot, so I won't repeat them here.

I can't deny that I enjoyed reading this book but, although there's lots of potential in the plot and and among the characters, not enough of that potential is realised. The plotting is intricate but there are several flaws, at least one of which has serious implications in relation to the final solution. Most readers will have devoured several of the earlier books and will be familiar with the character of Wesley Peterson, but taking this book in isolation the characterisation is pretty two-dimensional; he's tall, black, well-educated, married with a young family and definitely one of the good guys - but that's about all we learn about him. He's a Detective Inspector, working under Detective Chief Inspector Gerry Heffernan - and Heffernan doesn't seem to have any discernable responsibilities, which leaves him free to chat to Wesley about the case and to accompany him on most of his travels.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected!
I did not expect to enjoy this book, combining, as it did, an historical event and modern day events. As I had no other books to read, I did read it and found it quite exciting. Read more
Published 2 months ago by G. W. Watson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this series
Published 3 months ago by pat eagle
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy reading
If you like Kate, you'll like this. Easy reading with a couple of twists.
Published 3 months ago by M. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars ongoing reading
Am reading the book now and it is up to the usual standard of this writer. The book is in excellent condition and having only paid about 1p for it I am impressed.
Published 6 months ago by Marie Day
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cadaver Game
My friend and I just love Wesley Peterson. He is the most believable character and we feel that we also know his family. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ms. Wk Kelsall
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic series of books
Love all of the series, gives an insight to personal as well as professional lives. Can't wait for the next one!
Published 12 months ago by mark adams
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent crime novel
#16 in the Wesley Peterson series and another fine mystery from Kate Ellis. I don't know where she keeps getting them from. Highly recommended.
Published 12 months ago by Mr. Stephen Parkin
4.0 out of 5 stars What a shocking ending....................
Is this the most shocking ending to a book I've ever read? Of course I'm not going to divulge it............. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Jane Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Great writer
Kate Ellis always manages to keep you guessing until the last few pages, and surprises you with the outcome of the plot
Published 15 months ago by billy bennett
4.0 out of 5 stars Usual standard
I have read all the Wesley Peterson stories and this a good read. It is good to read the books in order because the characters develop but could also be read as a stand alone. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Scandalous
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