December 2016

‘Death & The Good Son’ by B.A.Steadman

Life is good for DI Dan Hellier. He has made several successful drugs’ busts and even the Assistant Chief Constable is smiling. But the discovery of two headless, handless corpses buried in the bog on Dartmoor will test his team to their limits. How are they expected to identify the bodies when nobody has reported them missing? 

The pressure mounts when the death of a teenager from an overdose of Mephedrone plunges Dan into the murky world of the Garrett family. Could the peaceful, family-run Animal Rescue Centre really be a cover for murder and drug-dealing?

Just how far will people go to get what they want?

And what links death to the good son? 

This investigation will challenge Dan’s decisions and beliefs as he races to catch a criminal before another child dies.

I must admit that this book was my first encounter with DI Hellier and his team.  I have the first book ‘Death & Deception’ on my gigantic ‘To Be Read’ pile but I just hadn’t got around to reading it.   Shame on me.  Needless to say after reading this book I have realized just what I have been missing out on.  ‘Death & Deception’ has made a Usain Bolt like charge right to the top of the pile.

‘Death & The Good Son’ deals with two apparently unconnected cases.  The first case deals with the topical subject of (not so) legal highs and the consequences of what happens when things go wrong.  The second case deals with the discovery of two bodies in a bog, who have had their heads and hands removed to prevent identification.  I don’t want to say too much more about the progress of the inquiries as I don’t want to spoil the story for anybody.  However, what I will say is that there are more twists, turns and stomach churning moments within these two cases than you would experience on a rollercoaster ride.

I loved most of the main characters.  DI Dan Hellier is a workaholic copper, who is determined to get to the truth and seek justice for the victims.  This book sees Hellier return to work after a tragic ending to a case, which haunts Hellier to this day.  As is often the case, he does have skeletons in the closet that he tries to keep hidden from his work colleagues.  DI Hellier is not afraid to muck in with the investigation and he loves getting his hands dirty.  He has a dedicated and well balanced team beneath him and each has each others backs.  I loved the character of  DS Sally Ellis.  She is one feisty lady who is dedicated to her work but she is also a mother of twins.  Sally has a good support network behind her with a mother who steps in to care for the twins when Sally needs to work late.  As for the Garrett family well what can you say?  All I will say about them is that appearances can be deceptive.

B.A.Steadman uses such language that you can actually imagine that you are there in the county and you are taking part in the investigation.  I really did feel as though I was an invisible member of the team.  In fact, I would love to work with DI Dan Hellier and his team.  I know it’s fiction but I have a vivid imagination and I have a tendency to get far too involved with the story.  It’s almost as if I live the story.

I loved the setting of Devon & Cornwall.  I visited Cornwall when I was a child and I love going back there.  It was refreshing to read a book that is set outside the usual areas of London, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

In short I absolutely LOVED this book and I would definitely recommend it to others.   I would definitely easily award this book 5* out of 5* and I would award it more stars if I could have as it really is that good.  I can’t wait to read further books in the series featuring DI Dan Hellier and his team and I look forward to discovering more about the individual team members.

(Many thanks to Bloodhound Books and B.A.Steadman for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review).

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