A dead man walks into a police station. He tells a tale - bizarre as it is grotesque - of kidnap and organ harvesting. John Baden's story of being held prisoner for twelve years sounds far-fetched - but it's all about to get much, much stranger.
DI Ben Westphall has been given the case because of his background in MI6. He also has a knack for getting inside people's heads and seeing things others would miss. Westphall is no ordinary detective and this is no ordinary investigation.
When his suspects start dying, Westphall realises someone is killing to cover up the truth. But what exactly is the truth? To find out, he'll have to question everything he's been told, before there's no one left to ask..
When a dead man walks into an Estonian Police Station his appearance creates something of a conundrum, not just for the personnel involved, but also for DI Ben Westphall who is the Scottish detective in charge of the British side of the investigation. The 'dead' man's sudden arrival creates more questions than it does answers and before long Westphall is dragged into a bizarre investigation which gets more and more complicated as the story evolves.
I liked Ben Westphall from the beginning, he's an interesting character and his background in MI6 mean he has a good eye for working out the improbable, that he is also rather flawed, goes a long way into making him an interesting leading man. As with any new series there is a certain amount of scene setting and background about the lead characters but this was achieved smoothly and didn't get in the way of what is, in effect, a really tense murder mystery.
Song of the Dead is a really cleverly plotted crime thriller, with more than enough twists and turns in the plot to keep you guessing. Its complicated story line moving between dangerous situations both in Eastern Europe and some rather dark events in Scotland makes for fascinating reading.
Three titles in the DI WESTPHALL series will be coming from Mulholland Books in 2019.
About the Author
Douglas Lindsay was born in Scotland in 1964, at 2:38 am. Thirty-five years of little note ensued, before the world heralded the publication of his first book, The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson, which was adapted was adapted for the screen starring Robert Carlyle, Ray Winstone and Emma Thompson. As he was leaving the house to undertake a public engagement for the first time, his wife kissed him on the cheek and said, 'Whatever you do, don't be yourself...' Sadly, Lindsay continues to ignore her advice to this day.
Lindsay worked at the Ministry of Defence for over ten years and is married to a diplomat. He has lived in Dakar, Belgrade, Warsaw and Tallinn, an experience that inspired Song of the Dead. He now lives and writes full time in Somerset with his wife and their two children.
Twitter @DTSLindsay #SongOfTheDead