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Thursday 11 November 2021

‘The Abberley Beach Murders’ by D. E. White.

Published by Joffe Books,
6 September 2021.
ISBN:  978-1-78931-396-8

DC Dove Milson is a member of the Major Crimes Team, which covers the resorts of Abberley and Lymington-on-Sea. The proximity to the sea gives her the opportunity for indulge in the waters sports she loves.  It’s hot weather and she has just finished surfing when she hears an altercation taking place at Claw Beach - she goes along to help and, in the ensuing fight, is injured herself.  The following day MCT has to attend an unusual crime scene - 4 people have drowned in the underwater room of the Beach Escape Rooms.  The safety features for the room have been tampered with and so the Team is looking for a murderer.

Caz Liffey and Jamie Delaney own the Beach Escape Rooms and have a lot invested in the business.    Interestingly for the investigation, Jamie is the brother of Mickey Delaney, a young and talented gymnast; she has been in a coma for 5 years, having been found, badly injured, at the bottom of a quarry - the case has not been solved.  And one of the murder victims had been a person of interest in the initial investigation into Mickey’s case.  Is there any connection between the old case and the current case?  And does the incident on Claw Beach have any relevance?

There’s a lot going on in this novel.  The three plotlines would be sufficient, but other worrying events and personal problems (both for the police officers and the suspects) add to the tension and, at times, convey a convincing feeling of exhaustion.  Dove is an immensely strong and determined person and is well supported by her colleagues.  The pace doesn’t flag and twists and surprises hold the attention to the final pages.

Though this is the third book featuring Dove, it works well as a stand-alone and, indeed, will encourage readers to find out more about her, her family and colleagues.

Reviewer: Jo Hesslewood
Other books by this author: in the Detective Dove Milson Mysteries:  Glass Dolls, The Ice Daughters

D.E. White writes psychological thrillers for HQ Digital (HarperCollins). She lives near the Sussex coast, and has two children, both of whom are bookworms, so it must run in the family!

Jo Hesslewood
.  Crime fiction has been my favourite reading material since as a teenager I first spotted Agatha Christie on the library bookshelves.  For twenty-five years the commute to and from London provided plenty of reading time.  I am fortunate to live in Cambridge, where my local crime fiction book club, Crimecrackers, meets at Heffers Bookshop .  I enjoy attending crime fiction events and currently organise events for the Margery Allingham Society.

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