Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Lost Shrine
A Hills & Barbrook Mystery – Book II
BY Nicola Ford

Allison and Busby
23 June 2019 / 2 August 2019 in US/ ISBN 9780749023928

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde 


Clare Hills is relieved that her archaeological unit has a new job, digging on a site in the Cotswolds due to become a housing estate. As well as coping with deadlines and an aggressive developer there is the added problem that her predecessor committed suicide recently. Beth Kinsella was found hanging in a nearby copse, surrounded by the dead bodies of mutilated wildlife. Everybody said that Beth was brilliant but eccentric, and before her death had been insistent that the empty-seeming site was something very special. With residents angry about the new estate and the company developing it keen for the archaeologists to be gone there is enough bad feeling, but soon Clare has more to worry about.

This is the second in the series following the debut The Hidden Bones (also reviewed on this site). It should appeal to readers of other archaeological themed mysteries such as those by Kate Ellis and Elly Griffiths. Archaeology and detection go well together as both entail many of the same skills, and the auth

r works in this field herself. She gives a realistic portrayal of what it must be like to be digging a site and coping with deadlines and lack of funds. This aspect of the tale was its best feature in my opinion; as with the first book this is not a pacy read. But there are revelations throughout after a slow start and the momentum does build up nicely to an exciting conclusion. As with all good series there are some tantalising loose ends left hanging, fortunately these are to do with Clare’s personal history and not the crime, which is thoroughly solved. This is turning into an appealing series, and I will be looking out for the next one.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2019