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The Nidderdale Murders by J R Ellis - Review

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

I think I was auto approved for this title on Netgalley, so thank you very much to Amazon for granting me access to this. This book was published in September 2020. I was granted an electronic copy of the book for review purposes, but was not otherwise compensated. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Okay so this is the fifth book in the Nidderdale Murder series, although it's the first one I've read. As is usual with these crime series, it works as a standalone novel, as it only briefly references previous books, and it's easy to get to grips with the main characters. Our DCI here is Jim Oldroyd, who I thoroughly liked, and his underlings were pretty good too. They are usually based in Harrogate, but this book takes them on to the Yorkshire Dales, to a small village there. 

The first victim is a man called Fraser. He used to be a judge, but he's retired to the manor house in the village and owns the local grouse moor. He invites his friends to come and shoot there quite often, and on those occasions the group uses the local pub and has lots of food and spends a lot of money. So the publicans need his business even if they don't like him. 

On one of these occasions, one of the pub staff is upstairs in her bedroom just as the party is finishing. Fraser leaves the pub and is shot by someone with a shotgun. The member of staff, Kirsty, sees the perpetrator when he looks up at her, and identifies him as local handyman Alan Green. 

The local police can't really cope with the investigation, so that's when Oldroyd and his crew step in. They start to look into Fraser's life, and while there's certainly a lot of people who would have a grudge against Fraser, the witness is so sure she saw Alan Green that they are at a bit of a loss, especially as he's now missing and can't be found. 

Someone else is shot later and again, there seems to be an obvious culprit, who again has vanished... 

I liked this a lot, it was an easy to read crime novel but with quite a lot of twists and turns that kept me guessing up to the end. I did catch one of the twists - not outright but I noticed something and thought, 'well, that's not quite right', and it turns out to be one of the twists. It was so cleverly done!

I'd give this a good four out of five, and will definitely look to read the others in the series!

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