The Shadow Collector (Wesley Peterson) Hardcover – 7 Feb 2013
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Star author. Unputdownable Bookseller"
Star author. Unputdownable Bookseller"
A beguiling author who interweaves past and present--The Times
The chilling plot will keep you spooked and thrilled to the end--Closer
Star author. Unputdownable--Bookseller
Kate Ellis skilfully weaves crimes of past and present into a seamless narrative...The plotting is intricate and the finale totally unexpected--Scotsman --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
The 17th Wesley Peterson crime novel . . . and they just get better and better!See all Product description
Top customer reviews
As crime novels go, I imagine this would be classed as relatively genteel, a far cry from the hard-boiled school. Likewise its central characters are lacking the flaws and frailties common to the detectives etc. of so many such stories. Indeed, they are perhaps, almost too good to be true, even a trifle colourless, certainly in comparison with Benjamin Black’s Quirke or M R Hall’s Jenny Cooper for example. Nonetheless, a wealth of secondary characters certainly compensate by virtue of their eccentricities. There is no lack of colour in the novel and the author sustains tension at a high level throughout.
Witchcraft is not the most original device for creating a sinister atmosphere and I’m not sure how much the historical passages add to the narrative, but after a rather tentative and over-familiar opening, I found myself more and more gripped as the novel twists towards its climax. Kate Ellis can certainly write and is clearly prolific, so I have plenty to catch up with. Recommended.
Published by Piatkus, 15 August 2013. ISBN: 978-0-7499-5802-2
A break-in at a smallholding is not usually something that falls to Detective Inspector Wesley Peterson to investigate, but as DS Rachel Tracey says, the break-in is a Devil's Tree Cottage, the home of mother and daughter Dorothy and Lilith Benley, who were convicted eighteen years previously for the brutal murder of two teenage girls. Dorothy died in prison, but Lilith has been released and has returned.
Along with Detective Chief Inspector Gerry Heffernan, who worked on the case against the Bentleys when he was a sergeant eighteen years ago, Wesley visits Lilith. She tells them that the only thing stolen is her Book of Shadows.
A short distance away from Devil's Tree Cottage is Jessop's Farm, now known to the viewing public as Celebrity Farm where a group of celebrities were sited in Big Brother style to revive their flagging careers. Originally there had been six contestants but now only Rupert Rayborne and Zac James remain. The discovery by one of the contestants of a dead body in a nearby field has Gerry Heffeman asking, has Lilith killed again?
Meanwhile, archaeologist Neil Watson, long time university friend of Wesley's, is working at Mercy Hall, the home of Evan and Harriet Mumford. The historic house is a two-star listed building, and although two thirds of the house has been renovated, the restoration of the semi-derelict east wing is moving slowly. When the panelling is removed a gruesome wax doll is discovered. Further discovery of an inscription in the stone points to a hanging circa October 1643, the year Tradmouth was besieged by the Royalist army during the Civil War.
As the murder investigation continues more and more suspects come to light, and fascinatingly they seem to link back to the killing of the two teenagers eighteen years ago. Despite his preoccupation with the murder enquiry, Wesley also has matters closer to home to deal with.
This is the seventeenth book in the series, and they get better and better. As with all the previous stories, the current investigation runs parallel with an earlier death, in this instance with narration from a statement made by Elizabeth Harkness, October 1643, and the journal of Thomas Whitcombe, a Captain in the King's army, September 6th 1643.
The story is complex and has many twists, but nothing quite prepared me for the final twist. Absolutely superb writing. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes
This is a well written mystery which links the distant past - seventeenth century; the less distant past - eighteen years ago and the present. All are interlinked and influencing present day events. There are elements of police procedural and elements of archaeology in this atmospheric crime novel.
All this fascinating series have interesting backgrounds and the series characters are developing well. I do like the way all the police characters get on well together - which makes a change when compared with many police series.
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If you have not yet read any of this series, you are in for a treat.Read more
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