cover image The Ring of Death

The Ring of Death

Sally Spencer / Author Severn 28.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7278-686

Fans of The Dead Hand of History (2009) will welcome Spencer’s second mystery featuring Det. Chief Insp. Monika Paniatowski set in 1970s Lancashire. Early one morning in the woods outside Whitebridge, a dog breeder discovers the naked, mutilated body of a man in his mid-30s. Particularly shocking is that the dead man is on his hands and knees, rigor mortis keeping him in position. Monika and her team get to work on the case and soon learn the victim is Andrew Adair—a recently discharged army officer who was one of the paras involved in the notorious 1972 Bloody Sunday killings in Northern Ireland. Before the team makes much headway, a similar murder occurs, and Monika realizes she must figure out what message the killer is trying to send with the posed corpses—and fast—before the violence escalates. A witty protagonist and a likable supporting cast redeem what is otherwise a formulaic police procedural. (June)