Wednesday 19 May 2021

BLOG TOUR: The Distant Dead: 8 (The Detective's Daughter) - Lesley Thomson

LONDON, 1940

Several neighbours heard the scream of the woman in the bombed-out house. One told the detective she thought the lady had seen a mouse. Another said it wasn't his business what went on behind closed doors. None of them imagined that a trusting young woman was being strangled by her lover.


Beneath the vast stone arches of Tewkesbury Abbey, a man lies bleeding, close to death. He is the creator of a true-crime podcast which now will never air. He was investigating the murder of a 1940s police pathologist - had he come closer to the truth than he realised?

Stella Darnell has moved to Tewkesbury to escape from death, not to court it. But when this man dies in her arms, Stella, impelled to root out evil when she finds it, becomes determined to hunt down his killer and to bring the secrets he was searching for into the light...

What did I think?

When I picked up The Distant Dead, I didn't realise that it was book 8 in the Detective's Daughter series but I have to say that it works brilliantly as a standalone.  I didn't feel at all confused or disadvantaged by jumping in mid-series but I definitely want to go back and read the earlier books.

I'm always delighted to find maps inside books and The Distant Dead has something just as good: a plan of Tewkesbury Abbey.  With a real life 'googleable' setting, it's really easy to visualise a lot of the scenes in the abbey (as pictured on the cover).  I have to say that my imagination was way out regarding the cadaver tomb; I had never heard of them before so I had to google it and although it did make me go 'eww' I found the history of cadaver tombs fascinating.  I love books that teach me something as well as providing entertainment through their storytelling.

In a dual timeline setting, a spate of modern day murders have a link to a cold case from 1940.  The murder of Maple Greenhill in 1940 is just one of many wartime crimes that remain unsolved but it had a snowball effect that has repercussions throughout the following decades.  Fast forward to 2019 and Stella (the detective's daughter in the series of the same name) is thrust into the middle of a killing spree that could see her becoming the next victim if she gets too close to solving Maple's murder.

The Distant Dead is wonderfully plotted, there's so much going on that it's impossible to work out what's going to happen next.  It's so fast-paced and gripping that it makes the pages turn effortlessly and I was equally riveted by both timelines.  I loved Stella's friend Lucie; she's absolutely hilarious and slightly crazy but fiercely loyal.  It's the characters of Lucie and Stella that make me want to read the earlier books in the series - I really want to find out their stories.

The Distant Dead is a hugely enjoyable read; it's intriguing, surprising and very atmospheric.  Lesley Thomson's writing is so vivid that I could almost feel the chill of the abbey and hear the echo of whispers.  The Detective's Daughter series fans will devour this one and I've no doubt that Lesley Thomson will pick up a few new fans too.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour; all opinions are my own.

My rating:

Buy it from:

About the author:

Lesley Thomson is the author of the Detective's Daughter series of West London-set mysteries featuring private investigators Stella, a cleaner, and Jack, a tube driver. The first novel, The Detective's Daughter, became an ebook phenomenon in 2013, staying at number 1 in the digital charts for 3 months. Since then, the series has gone on to sell 800,000 copies worldwide. Lesley is an active member of the UK crimewriting community, and appeared at several crime festivals in 2019, including CrimeFest, Harrogate, Morecambe & Vice and Capital Crime. She lives in Lewes with her partner and her dog.

Follow Lesley:

Follow the tour:

No comments:

Post a Comment