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on 24 February 2015
The second novel in the Wesley Peterson series really showcases the authors writing ability. The storyline is intriguing and fast paced particularly in the opening chapters hooking the reader and the level of mystery is maintained throughout.
The story combines multiple storylines and multiple character viewpoints effortlessly. The modern mystery of a pensioner (and was survivor) death provides the whole rural police team the opportunity to investigate their own theories of the murder. This allows Ellis to subtly weave in each characters strengths and weaknesses.
The locations are very descriptive and these play a focal point in the story; small town syndrome mixed with British coastal town and the characters that appear in these areas.
This book is excellent as a standalone, although as part of the series it is excellent to be able to see how the characters are growing and changing. As this novel is based on the second world war, and this year is the 70th Anniversary of the end of the war, this would make a great year to read this novel and relate to the characters brought to life.
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The second in the Wesley Peterson series combining archaeology and modern detection; a group of American World War II veterans have come over to the UK to revisit an area in Devon where the Normandy Landings were planned. One of them - Norman Oppenheim - is murdered. At the same time Wesley's friend Neil is about to start a dig in the derelict church where Norman's body is discovered. Archaeologists are also investigating a Spanish Armada wreck on the river bed.

Wesley's boss, Gerry Heffernan, is being plagued by a clairvoyant whose cryptic statements he is not disposed to take seriously; Wesley and his wife Pam are expecting the imminent arrival of their first child. So Wesley is torn three ways - he wants to spend as much time with Pam and he obviously has to put his job somewhere near the top of his priority list but he also wants to know what's going on with the archaeology.

This is an interesting a complex story with the past and the present dovetailing in ways which could not be imagined at first by any of those involved. Secrets are about to be exposed in ways no one could have expected. The book is well written and the archaeology and the modern crime play an equal part in the story.

I liked the way Gerry interacted with the homeless youngsters and I like the way the police all get on together - with the slight abrasiveness of one of the officers stopping it being unbelievably nice. The characters are well drawn and believable with even the minor characters coming to life in the reader's mind.
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on 4 June 2017
Not a bad story but typing errors such as 'm' in a word where it should be 'rn' occurred more than once and other errors too. I find these things annoying especially as this is not a cheap book.
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on 20 April 2017
Enjoyed this book, great characters, but think series could get a bit tedious if she always ties the stories to archeology
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on 23 July 2017
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on 29 November 2016
Brilliantly written book.
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on 24 January 2014
But such a pity that reading it is flawed by scrappy formatting into the Kindle version. I'm new to the Kate Ellis books, and delighted with her way of dealing with the past / present genre, which can be a tedious affair of people falling into trances at the drop of a hat. Kate Ellis' approach is intelligent and engaging, providing crime, secrets and mystery on both levels, without pushing the reader to the extremes of credulity. The characters are well rounded, an added bonus, I can imagine what they look like, how they sound. I find myself switching accents in my head. I look forward to reading more of her books, and hope that they haven't been massacred by the kindling process. This is something that needs to be addressed if serious readers are to take to Kindle. Sloppy formatting and dire self published books give ebooks a bad reputation.
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First Sentence: Norman Openheim lit a forbidden cigarette and inhaled deeply.

The Americans have come back to Devon in tribute to the time spent there preparing for the Normandy Invasion. The reunion does not go without incident when Neil, an archeologist and friend of DS Wesley Peterson, find the body of a murdered veteran at the chantry chapel ruins, the site where sailors of the Spanish Armada are said to be buried and where, in more recent times, couples went for a bit of privacy.

The only thing better than discovering a new author I like, is when they have a backlist for me to read. Kate Ellis is such an author.

It is nice that this book is set in the fictional town of Tradmouth in Devon. From the author's website, I learned that she used Dartmouth as her guide. But it is nice to be outside a major city. Providing a stronger sense of place would have been appreciated, particularly as I am completely unfamiliar with this area. Thank heaven for the internet.

I cannot, however, fault her for character creation. Although this is billed as "A Wesley Peterson Crime Novel," it read more as an ensemble cast, and a good one. Again, quoting the website, "Each story combines an intriguing contemporary murder mystery with a parallel historical case." Wesley received his degree in archeology prior to joining the police force and, therefore, provides the bridge through his archeologist friend, Neil. Where he is polished and university educated, his superior, DI Heffernan, with whom I am delighted to say he gets on well.

To this pair, add a bright, ambitious police woman, a young detective who'd really like the action of London, Wesley's archeologist friend and an unseen psychic who calls telling them to look for the Armada Boy. What I particularly appreciated was that the background all the characters is provided in bits throughout the story.

The story's plot is so well constructed. It is intricate and filled with red herrings and twists but never feel contrived or manipulative. The clues are revealed to the reader as they are to the characters. The past is a critical element of the story as it relates to both location and motives. Ellis skillfully blended the historical information, particularly as this is a region with which I am unfamiliar, into the plot even enabling a particularly poignant thread to the story.

Ellis is an intelligent writer excellent at the blending the past and the present, her use of allegories and understanding the impact of the sins of the father. She has definitely joined my "must read" list.

THE ARMADA BOY (Pol Proc-DS Wesley Peterson-Devon, UK-Cont) - VG+
Ellis, Kate - 2nd in series
Thomas Dunn Books, ©1999, US Hardcover - ISBN: 031225198X
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on 2 March 2014
Two wars almost 400 years apart and the echoes of the past provide clues to a murder in the sleepy west country coastal village of Bereton. Bereton was requisitioned by American forces in the 1940s to prepare for the invasion of Europe. The locals were turned out of their farms and homes which were used as billets and target practice by the American Allies. When a group of American veterans come back to Bereton for a reunion one of them is found dead in the ruins of the ancient chantry which has been a local trysting spot for generations.

The clues to the death seem to lie in the past but how far back? Is the connection with the death of Spanish sailors on a ship which foundered off the coast? They were part of the ill-fated Armada and the bodies of those who came ashore are buried in the chantry. Now a group of archaeologists is excavating the site. Perhaps the more recent history of WW2 will shed light on the murder.

This is the 2nd book in the Wesley Peterson series of novels. He is the detective seargent in charge of this investigation. He’s young, tall, slim, and black and happily married. Not the stereotypical detective. His personal life and that of the other detectives give us a good introduction to an interesting group. Add to that a colourful collection of west country folks and we have an interesting journey to the solution of the murder.
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on 14 October 2015
I'm surprised no-one else is questioning why Tradmouth CID failed to interview the perpetrator, when it turns out she/he was resident in the hotel and in or near the bar the night before the murder!

That, and the appalling lack of editing, made this a very disappointing read. For £6.99 I expect much better quality.
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