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The Body in the Dales by J R Ellis - Review

Sunday, July 11, 2021


This book is the first in a series about the same detectives - DCI Oldroyd, and his underlings Carter and Johnson. I read the fifth one, The Nidderdale Murders, back in September 2020, but I don't think I can have reviewed it? I cannot for the life of me find the post if I did! But I enjoyed the book and the setting of Harrogate and the Yorkshire Dales and recommended it to my mum, who loves the Peter Robinson books. She read it and all the rest in the series, and at the end of May told me in passing that the new one - The Whitby Murders - was out. I had totally forgotten about the series, but was pleased for the reminder. I bought the others in the series on Kindle. The older ones were only a pound each, and the newest one was around £4 I think. That's fine by me, I don't want to spend more on thrillers like these which I read quickly and which I don't need paper copies of. 

So, in this book, it's Adam Carter's first day on the job in Harrogate. He's moved up from London. He's in reception at the nick in Harrogate when DCI Oldroyd grabs him and takes him across to the Dales, where a body has been found in a cave system. The dead man is Dave Atkins, a well known caver who is not popular in the village. He is a known womaniser and also owes quite a few people some money. There's no shortage of people who would have liked to kill him. 

But what's strange is that his body is at least two hours into the cave system, and he wasn't wearing any caving equipment, meaning that his dead body has been taken there - but why? And by whom? Oldroyd and Carter start their investigations, going round a whole list of people in the area. 

I like Oldroyd as a DCI - he's a good Yorkshireman with a good sense of humour, who works on his hunches and lets his team do the same. I like Carter, but I think he'd settled a bit by the end of the other book I read. There's not as much Stephanie Johnson in this book, which is a shame cos I like her too. 

I was in hospital at the beginning of June and took my tablet with me to read on. I didn't have to stay overnight but was there for hours longer than I might have been because my spinal block wouldn't wear off in my left foot! So I had a lot of time to read and finished this book then. I'm giving it four out of five and I can't wait to get to the other books in the series soon! 

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