The team is seeing changes. Cyril is away and for the second time, Owen finds himself in charge of the investigation. An elderly gentleman dies of a snake bite and unfortunately his carer is also attacked. The second murder is a shooting, an unusual weapon being used, again an elderly victim.
A photograph of four friends celebrating a win at the Great St Wilfred’s Stakes at Ripon races in 1986 seems to be significant, but the relevance, at first, is lost in the investigation.
Another victim, one of the friends in the photograph, is found dead in his home. Only one of the friends remains alive and Owen and his team fight against time to prevent his murder.
The investigation is hampered by two siblings, the Bostock brothers, who have a history of rivalry and hatred; one of them is in the Ripon races photograph.
DS April Richmond’s biblical knowledge proves critical in solving the crime. The snake, Lilith, conjures the Garden of Eden. Two more fatalities occur before the crimes are solved and the motive is revealed.
‘Hollingdrake is to Harrogate what Rankin (Rebus) is to Edinburgh – able to build a realistic landscape to portray his characters against – I love the way the characters are evolving, the pace is good and the plots compelling. Enjoy!’ – John Robson
This is a series of books that I have read and enjoyed so i was more than happy to be along on the tour for it. Although it can be read as a one off i highly recommend you read the previous ones to get a better sense of the characters involved. The main character Cyril has in this case taken a back seat due to his honeymoon and it’s up to the officers in his team to take over and keep things ticking along. This means we get to see and find out more about the people he works with including Owen his second in command. The characters have grown and evolved as the series progresses fleshing them out into a credible crime fighting team. A team that you could sit with and thrash out all thats needed to work a major incident.Owen comes into his own as an officer and leader of the troops as they investigate the deaths related to a snake bite. Little do they realise this case has a nasty sting in its tail. A sting that leads to more murders and the uncovering of hidden truths going back years. The story whilst it seems to follow a slow pace its anything but as it becomes a race against time to connect all the clues and get to the potential victims before its too late. As the race gets faster the tension builds, the clues lead us to the truth and the finale reveals itself with a flourish. A flourish that when it is unmasked leaves you wondering how the hell did i not see that coming. One of the reasons i enjoy this series so much is that you never seem to know who did it till the end, so you enjoy the books on their merits rather than finish them to see if you were right with your guess as to who did it.
My thanks to Caroline Vincent for my copy of the book, as always they are my own thoughts and opinions on the book.
STAR RATING 5
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
You could say that the writing was clearly on the wall for someone born in a library that they might aspire to be an author, but to get to that point Malcolm Hollingdrake has travelled a circuitous route.
Malcolm worked in education for many years, even teaching for a period in Cairo before he started writing, a challenge he had longed to tackle for more years than he cares to remember.
He has written a number of successful short stories, has nine books now available and is presently writing the eighth crime novel set in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
Born in Bradford and spending three years at Ripon College, Malcolm has never lost his love for his home county, a passion that is reflected in the settings for all the DCI Bennett novels.
Currently, Malcolm is writing a new series which is set in Merseyside.
Malcolm has enjoyed many hobbies including collecting works by Northern artists; the art auctions offer a degree of excitement when both buying and certainly when selling. It is a hobby he has bestowed upon DCI Cyril Bennett, the main character in his successful Bennett series.
Malcolm Hollingdrake on Social Media
Author Website malcolmhollingdrakeauthor.co.uk
Facebook Author Pagebit.ly/FBtoMHdrake
Goodreads Author Pagebit.ly/GRtoMHdrake
Amazon Author Pagebit.ly/AmtoMHdrake
The Harrogate Crime Series:
#1 Only the Dead ~ https://amzn.to/39FSsdx
#2 Hell’s Gate ~ https://amzn.to/3bPRexM
#3 Flesh Evidence ~ https://amzn.to/2JyGVCe
#4 Game Point ~ https://amzn.to/3dVcQus
#5 Dying Art ~ https://amzn.to/39CBrRH
#6 Crossed Out ~ https://amzn.to/2X37szH
#7 The Third Breath ~ https://amzn.to/3dVdc4g
#8 Treble Clef ~ https://amzn.to/2R7Br5N
#9 Threadbare ~ https://amzn.to/342rPOL
CAROLINE VINCENTcarolinevincent.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org