cover image The Dead Will Rise

The Dead Will Rise

Chris Nickson. Severn, $30.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4483-1019-7

It’s 1824 in Nickson’s excellent fifth whodunit featuring Leeds, England, thief-taker Simon Westow (after 2021’s The Blood Covenant), and Simon continues to make a solid living by retrieving stolen goods for a fee. Simon gets more than he bargained for when he’s approached by Joseph Clark, a foundry owner. One of Clark’s workmen is doubly bereft because his 10-year-old daughter died unexpectedly and, a week after the girl’s burial, her corpse was stolen. The theft comes amid reports of a rash of body snatching performed to provide cadavers for Edinburgh and London medical students to dissect. Though the missing body is not the typical type of stolen property Simon recovers, Simon accepts the job and enlists Jane, his scarily competent assistant, whom he rescued from homelessness and starvation, to help investigate. Simon and Jane soon find evidence of a local ring of body-snatchers reported to have already claimed seven corpses. Nickson keeps the story line intriguing despite the focus on a crime other than murder as he further develops his leads. This gritty and surprise-filled mystery will enthrall both newcomers and series fans. Agent: Tina Betts, Andrew Mann (U.K.). (Mar.)