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The Boy Who Lived With The Dead, picks up 18 months after the previous novel in the series A High Morality Of Doves. This time the case that Albert Lincoln is called to is in Cheshire. It is the location of a previous murder, that Albert was unsuccessful in solving. The case of little Jimmy Rudyard weighs heavy on his mind. With a woman murdered and a baby now missing. Albert must work quickly to solve the case and locate the baby.
The novel opens in September 1920, at the village of Mabley Ridge, Cheshire. Patience Bailey is found buried alive in a local graveyard. With local child Peter confiding in his school teacher Miss Davies (Gwen) that he witnessed somebody at the scene. Someone he refers to as the shadow man. Only the situation becomes more complex, when Peter is revealed to be the brother of Jimmy Rudyard.
Gwen’s backstory is more complex, and she makes for a likely sleuth alongside Albert. ‘According to her family, her loss was a punishment that had to be endured; sometimes she hated her family’
Mallory Ghent married his wife Jane for her wealth, their marriage is not one of love or romance. Patience was Jane’s paid companion, having helped Jane overcome her own personal demons. Jane seeks justice for her companion’s killer.
Albert has developed into a full workaholic to avoid his wife Mary. His wife has become consumed with visiting spiritualists aided by her mother Vera. Mary wishes to contact their son Fredrick, But Albert firmly believes she has merely been taken in by a bunch of charlatans. He relishes the chance to escape his homelife.
‘Corpses don’t bury themselves, somebody in Mabley Ridge had killed her’
With the introduction of Albert into Patience’s case, we finally learn the facts of Jimmy Rudyard’s murder. Peter claimed a man on horseback took Jimmy, he was never believed, but was he telling the truth?
Albert seek redemption for failing to find Jimmy’s killer and plans to unearth all the secrets of the village, if that is what it takes.
I have pages of note and quotes, but to include them all would provide spoilers. The novel is very similar to the first in the series. This is not a criticism, I am merely just referencing the era, themes and development of characters etc. The novels are best read in order to get the most from the series.
The novel has a perfect ending that leads straight into the next novel. Which I cannot wait to read! The series is pure perfection. 5* Genius
I’ve given this book two stars because it’s by no means the worst book I’ve ever read. I did manage to finish it, but only just. The writing is pretty awful. The ‘plots’ (many of them) risible, the characters wooden and cliched. The constant reference to her first novel in the series featuring this (thoroughly dislikeable) détective are beyond annoying. The denouement is ludicrous. The ‘lovely’ Gwen is all at once a shrinking simpering violet, who then does stupidity masked as bravery. A very silly book and I wouldn’t waste your money buying it, despite awards which persuaded me to part with hard-earned cash in the first place.
This is an excellent whodunit that will keep you guessing. My only gripe would be that there are far too many references to the first book of the series, 'High Morality of Doves'. This, in my opinion somewhat hinders the narrative of the story actually being told; but worse than that it commits the cardinal sin of mystery writing. It gives away the ending (repeatedly) of the earlier novel.
Purchased this book for myself. I have read all Kate Ellis books, they are easy to read, not too gory. This book was good, an enjoyable read. In the end, one element of the story was a little predictable and with all types of fiction some very easy coincidences. On the whole though an enjoyable read. I would recommend as an easy read especially curled up on the sofa on a winter evening.