Monday 7 August 2023

πŸ“– Book Review ~ Hell Bay by Kate Rhodes #TeamScilly


Simon &Schuster

DI Ben Kitto #1

My thanks to the publishers and Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my copy of this book

DI Ben Kitto needs a second chance. After ten years working for the murder squad in London, a traumatic event has left him grief-stricken. He’s tried to resign from his job, but his boss has persuaded him to take three months to reconsider.

Ben plans to work in his uncle Ray’s boatyard, on the tiny Scilly island of Bryher where he was born, hoping to mend his shattered nerves. His plans go awry when the body of sixteen year old Laura Trescothick is found on the beach at Hell Bay. Her attacker must still be on the island because no ferries have sailed during a two-day storm.

Everyone on the island is under suspicion. Dark secrets are about to resurface. And the murderer could strike again at any time.

πŸ“– My Review..

I'm delighted have been invited to take part in this readalong of the seven books which make up the DI Ben Kitto series of crime novels which are set on the beautiful Scilly Isles.

In this first book we are introduced to Detective Inspector Ben Kitto who is returning to his native Bryher and although we know very little about Ben's reasons for making the journey to the Scilly Isles there is a sense that he has left a frisson of something behind in London. We also get to know this atmospheric island, which is just one and half miles across, and with ninety-eight residents it is definitely a place where everyone knows everyone else's business. Which is why the disappearance of sixteen year old Laura Trescothick and the subsequent finding of her body on the beach alerts suspicion amongst the islanders. Brooding on whatever has brought him to Bryher, Ben gets inexorably drawn into the search for clues which may lead to Laura's murderer.

Hell Bay hits the ground running with an opening chapter which saw me avidly turning the pages to find out more. Ben Kitto is a determined protagonist, his mixed emotions about returning to his home patch are vividly portrayed as is his inexorable pull into finding out just what is happening on this idyllic island. Ben's sabbatical from his position as a detective inspector with the London Met couldn't be further away from his remote house on Hell Bay but once a detective always a detective and Ben is about to find out that his loyalties will be tested to the limit.

This is a really fabulous start to the series as it had everything I wanted in a complex crime novel. A remote setting in a place of secrets, a set of characters who leap out of the page fully formed and a compelling lead detective who has more than enough angst to make his progression through the series fascinating. Bring on book number two 😊

About the Author

Kate Rhodes is an acclaimed crime novelist and an award-winning poet. She lives in Cambridge with her husband, the writer and film-maker, Dave Pescod. She visited the Scilly Isles every year as a child which gave her the idea for this new series. She is one of the founders of the Killer Women writing group.

Twitter @K_RhodesWriter #TeamScilly



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