Grave’s End by William Shaw starts with an unidentified body in a freezer and an old badger in his sett – one entrance is blocked and the area may be built on. There can’t be a connection can there? Zoe – Alex’s teenage daughter – is becoming increasingly environmental and may be getting into trouble. I found this a very good start to the latest (3rd) book in this author’s series featuring DS Alexandra Cupidi.
Grave’s End follows Alex’s investigation of the body in the freezer through a number of twists and turns. The threads are wide ranging and some go back a long time. The emphasis on the environment is also a strong aspect of this story. Much of the tale is again set on the Kent coast around Dungeness where Cupidi lives with her daughter. It’s a setting that has been used effectively in the previous books. While this certainly could be read as a stand alone I would suggest that new readers start with the first book – Salt Lane.
I came to this series a little late. I guess my first reaction to it was that it was somewhat ordinary though made for a good read. However by the end of the first book I realised that the characters were very good. Alex, Zoe and Bill South made for a strong and interesting team. Add in Jill (a DC) who is entertaining and I realised I’d like to read more about these people. It isn’t just the characters either. The landscape/environment also play a role in these stories and are used to good effect.
I found Grave’s End very readable. The first half runs at a slower pace than the second half. However by the time you get to the second half the book becomes tense and fairly unputdownable. I enjoyed the story and I enjoyed the characters. I will certainly read more of this series. There is a sort of prequel to these in the form of The Birdwatcher which is on my “to read” list. I’d suggest that this series would be good for anyone who likes a decent crime read. Fans of the series should be very happy with this latest offering.
Note – I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review