Sunday, September 30, 2018

The thirteenth coffin by Nigel McCrery

The thirteenth coffin is the fourth book in the DCI Mark Lapslie series so this review contains ***SPOILERS*** if you have not read the other books in the series.  While you can read them on their own you will enjoy the series more if you read them in order.

When DCI Lapslie is called to a possible crime scene on his weekend off his is understandably annoyed, especially because it is a 'possible' crime scene.  The possible victim is a homeless man who dies in a room that was apparently sealed and impossible to enter, but the man is definitely dead and a search of the crime scene reveals a shocking surprise - carefully crafted coffins with carefully crafted dolls.  Some of the dolls are inside the coffins and show signs of violence and death, but there are also dolls that seem to be in perfect condition.

While they are trying to figure out the puzzle of the dolls outside the coffins a young bride is shot on her wedding day, and when Lapslie and his team return to the original crime scene they find the bride doll has been moved to a coffin and bears signs of having been shot - including a rather incriminating blood stain right where the bride was shot.  Lapslie is convinced that the dolls have a more sinister meaning than just representing gruesome deaths, and when his team uncover another murder that seems to be related to the dolls it seems as though his hunch is paying off - but Superintendent Rouse  is not convinced.  

When another victim is found the pressure builds as the team races to find the final victim before the killer can strike again.  When a thirteenth coffin is found at the original crime scene DCI Lapslie has a terrible sense of foreboding that the coffin is meant for him.  As the team begins to uncover more deaths that might be connected to the killer they have no idea just how determined the killer is to complete their mission, and the lengths they will go to to get what they want.  

This is a fantastic series, and although it may seem a little far fetched in places it is well written and keeps you hooked from the first page to the last.  There is great character development from story to story, and the characters have their faults and their flaws which makes them more relateable and realistic.  You can tell that Nigel McCrery has a television background, and there is a strong feel of the police procedural drama here, but that is what makes this such a great series.  

This series is really hard to review because the little twists and turns are what make it so great, racing against the book to try and solve the mystery before the big reveal and close at the end of the novel.  I have been really challenged at times to solve the mystery before the end, in this case I figured it out but there were enough twists that I was wondering if I really had until the end.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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