Underneath the Arches by Barry Faulkner

9th March 2023.

In the latest Serial Murder Squad novel, Detective Chief Superintendent Palmer faces his most curious case to date. Locks of hair are being sent to a homeless hostel. DNA analysis shows the hair comes from dead people.

But who’s taking the hair and why are they sending it in the post? Who does the hair come from?

The squad are soon on the case, identifying one of the victims from the missing persons register. Taking advantage of Gheeta’s IT skills and Claire’s ability to ferret out information, coupled with Palmer’s instincts, it isn’t long before they’re on the trail of a killer with an unusual motivation.

As with all the previous novels, the pace is slick with an intriguing plot that’s fresh and different. The banter and relationships between the team add an extra dimension of interest, while Palmer’s neighbour and nemesis never fails to deliver some humorous moments to savour.

This is the fifteenth outing for the squad and standards remain high, while the stories continue to be original, engaging and entertaining. This is definitely a series that stands out in a crowded and often predictable police procedural market.


Locks of human hair arrive in Palmer’s Office. Forensic analysis says they come from dead people. But who is sending them and where are the dead people? Then something rather nasty turns up in a Camberwell flat that involves the Salvation Army and seven scalps.

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