Book Review: Dead and Buried by Helen H. Durrant

buriedAbout the Book

Annie Naden and her husband buy a remote country cottage at auction. It’s the home of their own that they always wanted, but as they begin renovations, Annie discovers a satchel in a dusty old hidden cupboard. Inside are the usual schoolbooks, now over 40 years old, and a girl’s diary. Among the record of day-to-day crushes and pop concerts, is a secret whose terrible consequences are still resonating to this day.

Detective Tom Calladine has problems of his own. A notorious villain, Vinny Costello, seems to be back in town, and the bodies soon stack up. With Calladine’s loyal DS Ruth Bayliss on maternity leave, he gets in hot water with one of Costello’s assistants, and must also cope with an abrasive new member of the team as they seek to untangle a complex series of murders.

What happened to that girl forty years ago? And what’s it got to do with the current crime wave?


I took a gamble when I decided to read this book. I found it on NetGalley and I thought liked the book description enough to request it. Unfortunately, I only found out later on that it is the 5th book in a series featuring the lead detective. I have read similar books mid-series such as Play Dead by Angela Marsons and Vulnerable by Mary Burton which I enjoyed. However, I think that I didn’t fully enjoy Dead and Buried because of having not read the other books in the series. This made it hard to connect fully with the characters especially the lead detective.

Dead and Buried by Helen Durant is the perfect book for readers of police procedural. It revolves around a series of murders that all seem connected with an event that occurred decades ago. As the body count goes up, the detectives have to go back at take a look at the past to figure out the mystery.

The book has a lot of suspense as it takes you through the investigation. It was interesting to see how the detectives unraveled the mystery at the end. At the same time as the investigation is going on, there is a second story-line about one of the new detectives, DCI Eliza King. Like in most police procedural novels, the new detective doesn’t exactly receive a warm welcome but it was interesting to see how she worked her way into the team despite the cold reception.

As I said before, I think I would have enjoyed the book more if I had read the other four books in the series. Nevertheless, I recommend this book to fans of police procedural. I have read other reviews that indicate that most readers didn’t struggle with the book despite not having read the first four so don’t let my feelings about that deter you from reading it.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book

  • Title: Dead and Buried
  • Author: Helen H. Durant
  • Kindle Edition, 188 pages
  • Published July 3rd 2016 by Joffe Books Mystery, Crime Thriller, Suspense

Book Review: Play Dead (D.I Kim Stone#4) by Angela Marsons

From goodreads

deadThe dead don’t tell secrets… unless you listen.
The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess.

Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, its inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her team discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime.

Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil. It’s clear to Stone and the team that a serial killer is at work – but just how many bodies will they uncover? And who is next?

As local reporter, Tracy Frost, disappears, the stakes are raised. The past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets – but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim …?


Play Dead is the 4th book in a series featuring D.I Kim by Angela Marson. I didn’t know that the book was part of a series when I borrowed it. However, I decided to read it even after I found out about the series.

Play Dead is a more of a crime novel than a psychological thriller. It starts with a police raid under the command of D.I Kim. After this case, the main case starts at the body farm and the investigation begins immediately. The lead detective is also involved in a second investigation at the same time. The pacing is well balanced although things move a bit slow as the narrative revolves around the investigation.

Detective Kim Stone is an interesting character. She is very invested in her cases although she comes off as too serious especially when dealing with her colleagues. However, it was still endearing to see just how concerned she was about the victims. I also liked the fact that she was a flawed character. It was clear that events in her past had shaped her life.

There are multiple narrators in the story. Kim is the main narrator and as readers we get to follow the investigation from her perspective. Interestingly, we also get a few chapters narrated by the serial killer. This narrative added critical details to the story. The narrator tells a story starting from childhood illustrating a weird relationship with the mother. Through this narrative, we get to understand the motive behind the killings. I really liked this perspective, it not only provided details to the narrative but it takes readers to the mind of the killer. It almost makes the killer appear sympathetic.

Play Dead by Angela Marson has interesting twists from the start to the end. It was hard to guess the identity of the killer. Towards the end of the book, I thought I had guessed who the killer was but I was wrong again. It was also interesting to see how different things connected at the end. I also like the angle of how the past impacts on the present. All the main characters in the narrative have been shaped differently by their pasts.

As I mentioned before, the book has a good-balanced pace. The paragraphs are pretty short and they all end with a revelation, a cliff-hanger that will make you rush to the next chapter to see what will happen next.

This book reminded me a lot of Criminal Minds, one of my favorite TV shows. The brilliant detectives working well together and the twisted serial killers made it a captivating read. This is why I recommend this book to all fans of thrills and cops procedure novels. Play Dead by Angela Marson can be read as a standalone so don’t worry in case you haven’t yet read the other books in the series. I enjoyed reading this one and I definitely plan of getting the other books in the series.

About the book

  • Title: Play Dead
  • Author: Angela Marson
  • Kindle Edition, 390 pages
  • Published May 20th 2016 by Bookouture
  • Rating: 4.5 Stars
  • Source: Bookouture through NetGalley

The other books in the series….