Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Jackal Man
Wesley Peterson Murder Mystery Series – Book XV
Kate Ellis

Piatkus (Little, Brown)
3 February 2011/ ISBN 9780749953577
Mystery / Contemporary / Devon, England
Amazon US || UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

Somebody is murdering young women and disemboweling them in a rather Jack The Ripper manner, only this killer leaves the bodies wrapped in a sheet with a statue of Anubis beside them. Anubis was the Ancient Egyptian god of mummification, and one victim who survived describes her attacker as wearing a dog-like mask. While DI Wesley Peterson works on solving the case his friend Neil Watson is working at nearby Varley Castle, which has a fine collection of Egyptian relics. Over a hundred years earlier a former owner collected them, while his son is supposed to have committed the brutal murders of local young women. Do the police have a copycat killer on their hands, and if so, why?

As an inhabitant of Devon myself I look forward immensely to each new entry in this absorbing, imaginative and highly readable series. This author manages to avoid pretty much all of the tired old clichés that other fiction about the West Country seems to abound in, and the result is a remarkably accurate and warts-and-all (rather than bucket-and-spade) picture of modern Devon. There are perhaps rather a lot of coincidences in here (Wesley’s young son does not really have to be doing a project on Ancient Egypt at school) but this aside Ms Ellis has delivered up yet another tortuous and involved story that fills every page.

As with all long-running series it is enjoyable to read about the latest doings of the various characters, from the Wesleys who now have a new pet to Della’s latest love interest - all of which make a good ordinary backdrop to the extraordinary business of mass murder. As always the author has managed to come up with yet another mystery that links the past to the present, and this series shows no sign of running out of steam. May it continue to delight.

Reviewer's Note:




Reviewed 2011
© 2011