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Posts Tagged ‘DCI Webb’

The Twelve Apostles

Verity Ryder witnesses an accident in which an elderly clergyman is fatally injured.  His last words before he loses consciousness are ‘The Twelve Apostles.  Apart from the obvious associations this means nothing to Verity but it does seem to unsettle other people of her acquaintance.  Verity has just moved into a flat in a converted large house and is living with her old friend, Eva and her extended family.  Eva’s son is Adam Greenwood, a charismatic TV presenter who will be living for part of the time in another flat in the same house, is also Verity’s Godson and he seems disturbed by the clergyman’s mysterious words.

DCI Webb is called in to investigate when some bones are found in a wood and fears it will be a long drawn out process to discover who it is who has been buried there. However the body’s identity is quickly discovered and from there the case becomes more and more mysteries.  How do ‘The Twelve Apostles’ fit into it all and was the accident which killed the clergyman an accident or something more sinister?

This is an intriguing story which merges past and present and shows how past deeds can adversely affect present day events.  I liked the way characters from previous books in the series were woven into the story as well though you don’t need to have read the previous books in the series to understand what is going on in this one.  This appears to be the last book in what I think is an excellent, well written crime series.

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Eleven That Went up to Heaven: A DCI Webb Mystery

Richard Vine holds a party for twenty people who have the same name as himself together with their wives or partners.  Unfortunately the mini bus which is taking some of his guests to the station after the event crashes and all but one of the people in it are killed.  What seems at first to be an accident soon turns into a murder investigation when it is found that the brakes of the mini bus have been tampered with.

Trying to find out exactly what happened and why taxes DCI Webb’s ingenuity to the fullest extent and he starts to wonder whether the case will ever be solved.  I didn’t work out who had done it or why so the solution was a surprise though the clues are there if you interpret them correctly.

This is the penultimate book in this excellent series and I am currently reading the last one.  I have enjoyed all of them and if you enjoy crime novels with little graphic violence then you will probably enjoy this series.  They can be read in any order but I think they are probably best read in the order in which they were published.

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The Ten Commandments (A DCI Webb Mystery)

Frederick Mace is a criminologist who is currently engaged in promoting his previous book and writing his current book about the ten commandments and crime.  He has just returned home after a successful book tour in Canada.  DCI David Webb does not have a terribly high opinion of academics and their knowledge of crime and criminals in real life but even he has to admit that Mace has some interesting theories.  When a social worker is found murdered in a pub car park the case bears startling similarities to an unsolved murder from several years ago which Mace has decided to include in his new book.

This is an intriguing story and as with others in the series the author skilfully weaves together the apparently disparate strands of the plot into a satisfying whole.  The frustration of the police about the lack of evidence is well done as is the unrest amongst the members of Mace’s close family as they try to cope with their relative’s sudden celebrity.

I think this is one of the best books in this excellent series and it certainly kept me guessing about both murders almost to the end.  The books in this series can be read as standalone novels but in my opinion it is best to read them in the order in which they were published – starting with A Shroud for Delilah’.

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One is One and All Alone (A DCI Webb Mystery)

DCI David Webb is concerned about his old friend DCI Malcolm Bennett as he doesn’t seem to be happy in his second marriage.  In addition he has a difficult case to deal with concerning raids on local shops.  The shop raids become more serious when someone is injured and then murder affects Bennett and his family and DCI Webb is called in to investigate.  The evidence seems to lead nowhere and Webb feels he is getting little co-operation while the media are putting pressure on the police to solve both cases.

The book is well written and thought provoking.  It raises issues around how difficult marriage can be for strong minded people and especially how difficult second marriages can be.  As ever with this series the characters are interesting and well drawn and the book is tightly plotted with several interweaving strands.  I did work out who was responsible before the end but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story.

If you enjoy crime novels with little on the page violence and no bad language then you may enjoy this book and this series.  Each book can be read as a standalone novel but I think they are best read in the order in which they were published.

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The Seven Stars (A DCI Webb Mystery)

Helen Campbell finds herself driving through fog on her return journey from taking her daughter Penelope back to university.  Erring on the side of caution she decides to stay the night and continue her journey the following morning.  She comes across a bed ad breakfast establishment called The Seven Stars, which fortunately has a room for her.  This trivial decision will change her life and see her involved in rather more than she bargained for.

DCI Webb, travelling for an evening out comes across a hit and run accident which alters his plans for the evening.  He has a big case which is worrying him at present – a series of robberies at stately homes – which seems to have left no clues at all.

This is an entertaining and intricate story with several strands to the plot and a welcome re-appearance of several characters from previous stories.  I didn’t guess the ending at all and it kept me turning the pages to try and work out who was responsible.  This series is really excellent and stands up to the test of being read back to back, which many series do not.  I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who enjoys crime novels without too much on the page violence and no bad language.

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The Gospel Makers

The Revelationists are a new religious group which have appeared in Shillingham and currently seem to be attracting a lot of interest.  DCI Webb instinctively distrusts them and when his female inspector – Nina Petrie offers to investigate undercover he agrees, with reservations.  Then his attention is diverted to an unidentified dead man discovered in a local hotel room.

But could the two cases be connected?  And is Nina getting too involved and what precisely is it that attracts followers to this new group?  This is a sinister story which shows how easy it is for vulnerable people to be sucked into a cult which really does not have their best interests at heart.

I thought this was a really spine chilling story about how people can influence others and lead them into doing things they would not otherwise do of their own accord.  The book is well plotted and I liked the characters.  It was good to see a bit more of Nina too and I think she is an interesting addition to the series characters.

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Three, Three, The Rivals

DCI Webb really does not want to be involved when he hears an old adversary of his late father has been found dead in suspicious circumstances.  But his boss insists that his local knowledge will be invaluable in solving the case.  Webb must confront some long buried memories and try and unravel the truth of what happened forty years ago as well as track down a murderer in the present.

I found this is a thought provoking and poignant read and I thought Webb’s own childhood was cleverly interwoven with the events of today to make a satisfying story.  It is interesting to read about why Webb decided to join the police and about what led to his estrangement from his family which has been hinted at in previous books in the series.

As ever the characters and background are well drawn and the story is well plotted with the past dove tailing into the present.  This is a really good series which deserves to be better known in my opinion.

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