Book Review: The Devil’s Dice by Roz Watkins

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The Blurb:

‘A pacy, twisty read that had me on the edge of my seat…what a brilliant debut! ’KL Slater

A SHOCKING DEATH

A lawyer is found dead in a Peak District cave, his face ribboned with scratches.

A SINISTER MESSAGE

Amidst rumours of a local curse, DI Meg Dalton is convinced this is cold-blooded murder. There’s just one catch – chiselled into the cave wall above the body is an image of the grim reaper and the dead man’s initials, and it’s been there for over a century.

A DEADLY GAME

As Meg battles to solve the increasingly disturbing case, it’s clear someone knows her secrets. The murderer is playing games with Meg – and the dice are loaded…

A white-knuckle crime debut introducing DI Meg Dalton, perfect for fans of Broadchurch and Happy Valley

Hardcover and ebook editions out 8th March 2018 by HQ

Further information here

 

My Thoughts:

Set in the dramatic and atmospheric Derbyshire countryside this book is not only wonderfully descriptive but it is based around some of my favourite areas in this county and so I could absolutely picture the woods, the caves, the quarries, which was fantastic. There has long been Derbyshire myths, legends, ghost stories and haunting crimes that make this the ideal place to set a book like this and Roz Watkins actually details a number of local sites you can actually visit such as the Nine Ladies Stone Circle on Stanton Moor.

Following on from this perfect back drop, a terrible discovery is made within a cave and initial suspicions are thrown in to doubt with a more unnerving discovery and it transpires there’s much more than meets the eye (well it wouldn’t be a very good thriller otherwise!)

DI Meg Dalton is a complex character, wracked with guilt and unresolved issues she is starting a new job back in her home county trying to prove to her team, and herself that she is up to the job. Although “damaged detective” is a bit of a crime thriller trope (though honestly with the magnitude and demands of the job I’m not convinced anyone can do it in real life without being affected) it is not over a man, thank god! I do love reading crime/murder/detective series’ by female authors with a female protagonist, because you get that authenticity that’s relatable and beautifully complex.

This plot has many red herrings, with subtle twists and a spooky local curse mystery that seems unfathomably at the heart of a tragedy befalling a family in the local area. It is fast-paced, gripping and I couldn’t put it down once I was 50% in so devoured it in one afternoon. I found the individual characters written; Meg’s family, her colleagues, the suspects, were all fascinating additions to the plot and I definitely look forward to reading more in the series of this talented debut.

Bee Rating: 4/5

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