A new series from Helen Phifer teams a forensic pathologist Beth Adams with lead detective Josh Walker. The duo are investigating a murder after a woman’s body is discovered under a coffin during an exhumation. The body has been deliberately hidden and then revealed due to the unnecessary exhumation, meaning the murderer is cleverly acting as puppet master.
The anticipation is ramped up by the author’s narrative device of letting us see a variety of perspectives so we are made suspicious of some named characters and some mystery ones. However, there are other secrets that have nothing to do with the murder investigation…
The main characters of Beth and Josh have a wonderful chemistry as he once saved her life. He is enduring an unhappy marriage and Beth is facing her own demons which are gradually revealed over the course of the book.
Featuring a forensic pathologist, there are obviously some graphic details of an autopsy but these are delivered in a clinical way so are not gratuitous or overwhelming. The methodical police procedure is also at the forefront of the plot.
I felt that the explanation of the killer’s motives did not fully explain his choice of earlier victims, and instead focussed on his final act of violence which was the culmination of the clues dropped earlier in the book.
The style of writing was fast paced and the chapters were mostly short, making it tempting to keep reading just one more even when you are desperate to go to sleep! The main characters are really easy to like and the ending gives lots of potential for sequels to develop their friendship.
Read my review of Helen Phifer’s Last Light
Title: The Girl in the Grave
Author: HELEN PHIFER
Publication Day: July 16th 2019
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2Phxl95
At least they’d found her. Once the site was processed and the girl’s body removed, they’d be able to identify her so that her family could give her the burial she deserved. This innocent girl was far too young to be lying in a grave, crushed under the weight of someone else’s coffin…
When the body of a teenage girl is found hidden inside a stranger’s grave in a small-town cemetery in the Lake District, an urgent call is made to Forensic Pathologist Beth Adams. One look at the beautiful girl’s broken body is enough to bring Beth out of hiding for the first time since an attempt on her own life…
Beth doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence that the victim was found the same day a threatening gift was left on the doorstep of her secluded home. Her instincts are telling her that it’s a trap, that she should run for safety. But she knows she’s the only one with the expertise to help her trusted friend, Detective Josh Walker, crack the most shocking case of his career.
The tiny traces of material Beth finds beneath the victim’s fingernails is the break in the case the team need to chase down this twisted killer. But this critical lead comes at a dangerous price, exposing Beth’s whereabouts and dragging her back into the line of fire once again.
With Beth’s own life on the line, the investigation is already cracking under the pressure. Then another local girl goes missing… Can Beth stay alive long enough to catch the killer before he claims his next victim?
An absolutely gripping new crime thriller that will grab fans of Patricia Gibney, LJ Ross and Angela Marsons from the very first page and leave them gasping for breath by the last.