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St. Benet’s by David Blake @DavidDBlake @BOTBSPublicity #STBENETS

July 2, 2019

Source: Review copy
Publication: 24th June 2019 from Black Oaks Publishing
PP: 331
ISBN-13: 978-1097466313

David Blake is a full-time author living in North London. To date he has written fourteen books along with a collection of short stories. He’s currently working on his fifteenth, St. Benet’s, which is the follow-up to his debut crime fiction thriller, Broadland. When not writing, David likes to spend his time mucking about in boats, often in the Norfolk Broads, where his crime fiction books are based.

A girl thrown from a church tower, a man sacrificed to Satan, and a priest murdered at the hands of the Devil.

When the body of an old man is found lying in the ruins of St Benet’s Abbey, his throat cut, a knife resting in his open hand, DI John Tanner and DC Jenny Evans are given no choice but to accept a ruling of death by misadventure.

But when the body goes missing from its tomb, after a priest is found nailed to a cross, and another impaled on a stake, everything begins to point back to the murder of a teenage girl, thrown from the top of a church tower, some forty-three years before.

Set within the mysterious beauty of the Norfolk Broads, this fast-paced British detective series is a cozy murder mystery with a slice of humour and a touch of romance, one that will have you guessing until the very end, when the last shocking twist is finally revealed.

St. Benet’s is a totally addictive gripping crime thriller, the second in a chilling series of serial killer books, ones which will rapidly convert followers of L J Ross, Faith Martin, Joy Ellis, Damien Boyd and Helen H. Durrant into David Blake devotees.

St Benet’s as you will see from the blurb, is described as a cozy murder mystery. As such, I think it comes at the considerably less cozy end of the market. None the worse for that though, as I like my murder mysteries with a distinct chill and St Benet’s fulfils that in spades.

An elderly man, dressed as a monk is found dead in the ruins of an old monastery St. Benet’s Abbey. DI John Tanner is sent to investigate along with his girlfriend, DC Jenny Evans. The pair are still in the throes of exploring their relationship, and the age gap is beginning to show some fault lines. While Tanner’s new boss, DCI  James Forrester, is inclined to think the first death was misadventure, Tanner is less certain.

Tanner is an old fashioned cop in his work and his personal life and his over protectiveness towards Jenny is beginning to grate on her, as it does on the reader.

Then the body disappears and the reader is left with a welter of clues involving quasi satanic cults, strange rituals and there is no escaping that somehow these events are all connected.

They don’t, though, have a lot of time to dwell on that as soon they are plunged headlong into a second murder investigation.  The death of a young woman 43 years ago may have a bearing on their current cases, but what exactly is the link, and why is someone out to kill more religious men?

Tanner is not a man to tread lightly when investigating and he manages to rile quite a few people, including at least one well-placed opinion former in the church, which incurs the wrath of Forrester.

Set in the Norfolk Broads, Blake’s use of this atmospheric setting adds to the darkness of the murderous events and renders them altogether more dangerous in feel.

While I was able to work out what was behind these killings, I found the relationships certainly interesting, with an old fashioned tinge to the central couple guaranteeing fireworks to come.

Verdict: Entertaining and atmospheric, St Benet’s is a book most likely to appeal to lovers of romantic mysteries.

Amazon                                                       

David Blake is a full-time author living in North London. To date he has written fourteen books along with a collection of short stories. He’s currently working on his fifteenth, St. Benet’s, which is the follow-up to his debut crime fiction thriller, Broadland. When not writing, David likes to spend his time mucking about in boats, often in the Norfolk Broads, where his crime fiction books are based.

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From → Crime

One Comment
  1. Thanks for being on the blog tour today Mary x

    Like

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