The team is seeing changes. Cyril is away and for the second time, Owen finds himself in charge of the investigation. An elderly gentleman dies of a snake bite and unfortunately his carer is also attacked. The second murder is a shooting, an unusual weapon being used, again an elderly victim.
A photograph of four friends celebrating a win at the Great St Wilfred’s Stakes at Ripon races in 1986 seems to be significant, but the relevance, at first, is lost in the investigation.
Another victim, one of the friends in the photograph, is found dead in his home. Only one of the friends remains alive and Owen and his team fight against time to prevent his murder.
The investigation is hampered by two siblings, the Bostock brothers, who have a history of rivalry and hatred; one of them is in the Ripon races photograph.
DS April Richmond’s biblical knowledge proves critical in solving the crime. The snake, Lilith, conjures the Garden of Eden. Two more fatalities occur before the crimes are solved and the motive is revealed.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
What a super start this is to the 9th book in this incredible series. DCI Cyril Bennett and pathologist Dr Julie Pritchett are finally getting hitched and heading off to the sunny climate of Barbados for their honeymoon. I had such a smile on my face but not for long……
A call comes in from Barbara Perry a carer, saying that she has found the body of George Lyons at his home but the woman is also unconscious too when help arrives. It is soon determined that both have them have been bitten by a snake. DS David Owen is called upon to investigate the case of the dead man and seriously injured woman. It isn’t long before another unusual death takes place too.
What a cracking story this is and as much as I love Bennett it was lovely to see Owen in another light. He has grown so much in the books and he shone in this one. As always in these books, Hollingdrake is a master of the unusual demise of any victims, his research is impeccable and his knowledge about art truly magical. I always love the added bit at the end.
I love trying to work out the cases with this incredible duo, yes Bennett does come back and join the investigation in this story too, this has a touching storyline with it. An author that I can always rely on for delivering a perfect plot. A top series!
HERE, IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
You could say that the writing was clearly written on the wall for anyone born in a library that they might aspire to be an author but to get to that point Malcolm Hollingdrake has travelled a circuitous route.
Malcolm worked in education for many years, even teaching for a period in Cairo before he started writing, a challenge he had longed to tackle for more years than he cares to remember.
Malcolm has written a number of successful short stories and has eight books now available. Presently he is concentrating on a series of crime novels set in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
Born in Bradford and spending three years in Ripon, Malcolm has never lost his love for his home county, a passion that is reflected in the settings for all three novels.
Malcolm has enjoyed many hobbies including collecting works by Northern artists; the art auctions offer a degree of excitement when both buying and certainly when selling. It’s a hobby he has bestowed on DCI Cyril Bennett, the main character in his latest novel, ‘Crossed Out’.
Books for the Harrogate based DCI Cyril Bennett novels.
Amazon page: http://bit.ly/AmtoMHdrake