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The Whitby Murders by J R Ellis - Review

Tuesday, April 19, 2022


I fancied something light to read so turned to the next in the DCI Oldroyd series. I actually read the 5th book first, then went back to the beginning, so I missed out the fifth one and went on to this, the sixth in the series. I have the 7th in line to read too and I don't think it'll be long before I get to it! When I've got a lot going on in my life I like to read easy books like this because they keep me turning the page and, being crime novels, I know everything will work out by the end. 

So, DCI Oldroyd's daughter, Louise, is in Whitby for the goth weekend in October, with some of her friends. There's Dom and Andrea, who are a couple but who argue sometimes, Maggie, and Ben. Maggie's boyfriend Mark is on his way too, but a day later than the first part of the book. There's another person who arrives later too. But the five have booked to do a Dracula themed escape room, while all dressed up in goth clothes. 

They are shown into the room by a Romanian woman called Elaine. She explains the escape room and also that a Dracula will follow them and if he catches up to them the game will be over. The five manage to escape the first room but once into the second everything goes wrong. Dom and Andrea have been rowing, and he suddenly pulls out a knife and stabs her. Then he says something like, oh god what have I done, and disappears through the emergency escape door. 

Ben falls to Andrea, trying to save her life. Louise goes back to reception to get help. But Andres dies before help can get to her. Dom is missing, but police are certain they'll find him before long, especially as he has no known links to Whitby. 

But Louise isn't sure. She feels like something felt wrong in what happened, even though everyone agrees that Dom stabbed Andrea before escaping. She phones her dad in Harrogate, and he manages to get himself seconded to Whitby to work under one of his old mentees, Alice Granger. Oldroyd believes his daughter, and presses the investigation to go further, utilising his current underlings Stephanie and Andy to do so. Of course there's more to the story. I really liked the mystery and how it unravelled, and the chance to get to see a bit more of Louise and her life. 

I would probably have given this five out of five but what annoyed me was some of the names of the children! There's no reason to believe that this series of books isn't set right now, as it's published, but for some reason Alice's children are called Ian and Lesley. Am I supposed to believe that a child born in around 2003 is called Lesley? Because I don't. And there's a few things like this, and they annoy me, and just smack of a writer that can't be bothered to do some proper research and find what children are actually called these days. 

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