First Line: "Where are you going?"
A stormy night in December. A large tree blown down. A skeleton and a red rucksack discovered. The discovery makes Detective Inspector Wesley Peterson immediately think of a young hitchhiker who went missing twelve years ago and was last seen carrying a similar backpack. Now a cold case has become a murder investigation while in the nearby village of Petherham a famous television psychic has been found dead under suspicious circumstances.
Wesley's friend, Neil Watson, now the Heritage Manager of Archaeology and Historic Environment for Devon, has been studying Petherham's ancient mill and uncovering the village's rather sinister history. Could the mysterious deaths in Petherham over a hundred years ago be connected to the current murders? Peterson and his team are going to have to work hard to find out.
Every summer, I choose to get caught up with a few of the mystery series I've fallen behind in reading. This summer, I chose Kate Ellis' Wesley Peterson police procedural series, although I've often used it as a GGR (Guaranteed Good Read) after I've read things that weren't my cup of tea. I've enjoyed the time I've spent in Devon with Wesley and the other members of Ellis' excellent cast. Through twenty-four books, these people have become friends, and I always enjoy catching up with what's going on in their lives. It takes a talented writer like Ellis to turn characters into family without weighing down the plot.
In The Burial Circle, Ellis uses Devon's early history of mills and the cloth industry, and early forms of insurance and photography to weave an atmospheric tale that kept me guessing. There is a very light touch of the paranormal in this book which shouldn't turn off anyone who's against "woo-woo" in their reading because it's easily explained by logic. More than anything else, the paranormal is used to heighten the eeriness of the story surrounding the old mill.
As with most Wesley Peterson books, it's fun to see how all the various parts of the mystery fit together. If you're put off at the thought of reading a (so far) twenty-four book series, The Burial Circle stands alone quite well. Longtime fans will agree-- Kate Ellis's series fits in well with other crime writers like Elly Griffiths and Ann Cleeves. It's one of my all-time favorites.
The Burial Circle by Kate Ellis
Piatkus Books © 2020
eBook, 310 pages
Police Procedural, #24 Wesley Peterson mystery
Source: Purchased from Amazon.