The Body in the Dales by JR Ellis

The Body in the Dales

31st December 2018 – 4 stars

I enjoyed The Body in the Dales, the first in a series featuring Yorkshire detective Jim Oldroyd. The gentle pace, the evocative setting of the Dales, both above and below ground, the villages and the characters that live there, firmly established this story as a traditional, cosy whodunit.

Usually, this means that the crime will be solved as much, if not more by deduction than forensic science and DNA profiling. This proved to be the case and it helped to sustain the suspense as the story progressed, as did the intriguing plot.

The body discovered in an underground cave generated a lot of suspects among the caving community in Burnthwaite village and I found it difficult to remember who was who. In part this was down to the number of suspects and the fact that the victim seemed to have slept with every wife in the village. Apart from jealous husbands, many of the men had also had dubious dealings with the victim.

I couldn’t help wondering why no one had beaten up this guy long before someone killed him.

The characterisation of the trio of detectives felt a little clichéd at times and i can’t help feeling Jim Oldroyd would have come across better had his character been shown by actions, rather than told by his colleagues. This didn’t spoil my enjoyment thanks to the easy going style, the author’s love of the Yorkshire Dales, and the original plot.

 

Description

An unpopular victim. An impossible crime. A murderer on the loose.

A body is discovered deep in a cave beneath the Yorkshire Dales. Leading the investigation into the mysterious death are experienced DCI Jim Oldroyd and his partner DS Carter, a newcomer from London.

The deceased is Dave Atkins, well known throughout the village but not well liked. While there is no shortage of suspects, the details of the crime leave Oldroyd and Carter stumped. How did Atkins’s body end up in such a remote section of the cave? When someone with vital information turns up dead, it becomes clear that whoever is behind the murders will stop at nothing to conceal their tracks.

Oldroyd and his team try to uncover the truth, but every answer unearths a new set of questions. And as secrets and lies are exposed within the close-knit community, the mystery becomes deeper, darker and more complex than the caves below.

The Body in the Dales

 

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