Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Devil’s Dice
DI Meg Dalton Thrillers – Book I
Roz Watkins

HQ (HarperCollins)
1 February 2018/ ISBN 9780008214616

Reviewed by  Rachel A Hyde

Lawyer Peter Hugo Hamilton has been found dead in a Peak District cave. His face is covered with scratches and carved into the stone wall is an image of the grim reaper and initials PHH. This might not be so bizarre if the carving hadn’t been done over a hundred years earlier. DI Meg Dalton is assigned to the case, and it soon becomes obvious that it is going to be anything other than suicide, or easy to solve.

I confess to particularly enjoying the type of police procedural that involves strange things in the past being linked with the present. Kate Ellis, Elly Griffiths and now Roz Watkins have all put their own stamp on this sub-genre. Prepare for a somewhat darker twist with this series debut, which is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat as you eagerly turn the pages to discover what happens next.

What is the mysterious curse that is said to affect anybody living in Peter Hamilton’s clifftop home? What was he doing before he died to upset his volatile partners, and what are they hiding? The flyleaf is deliberately evasive about what the book is actually about because to say any more would spoil the story. All I can say is that it covers some controversial and very topical issues, is very involving and won’t take long to read because it is so exciting.

The only alloy in this is the use of cliché. Meg comes across as being more rookie constable than inspector and certainly has more than her fair share of problems. She is the typical tortured detective with a Past, who, together with the sexist Neanderthal Craig and sensitive ex-Sikh Jai, appears rather too typical of the casts of a lot of police TV series. She tells the story in her own words, a device which is not easy to do well but which this author manages to carry off excellently. It will be very interesting to see what happens next in the second book, Dead Man’s Daughter, an excerpt of which can be read at the back of the book. Recommended as a new series to watch out for.

Reviewed 2018