Was it suicide ... or murder?
When teenager Nick Buckingham tumbles from the fifth floor of an apartment block, Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray answers the call with a sick feeling in his stomach. The victim was just a kid, sixteen years old. And the exact age the detective's son, Tom, would've been, had he not gone missing at a funfair ten years ago. Each case involving children haunts Gray with the reminder that his son may still be out there - or worse, dead. The seemingly open and shut case of suicide twists into a darker discovery. Buckingham and Gray have never met, so why is Gray's number on the dead teenager's mobile phone?
With his boss, Detective Inspector Yvonne Hamson, Gray begins to unravel a murky world of abuse, lies, and corruption. An investigator from the Met is called in to assist, setting the local police on edge. And when the body of Reverend David Hill is found shot to death in the vestry of Gray's old church, Gray wonders how far the depravity stretches and who might be next. Nothing seems connected, and yet there is one common thread: Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray, himself. As the bodies pile up, Gray must face his own demons. Crippled by loss but determined to find the truth, Gray takes the first step on the long road of redemption.
Set in the once grand town of Margate in the south of England, the now broken and depressed seaside resort becomes its own character in this dark detective thriller. Dig Two Graves is the first book in a series featuring Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray. The crime series is perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James.
I'm drawn to flawed, damaged cops (well, men generally really!) So I immediately liked Solomon Gray, although the reason he is damaged is heart breaking. His son disappeared aged 6 whilst in his care, and he has spent 10 years carrying the guilt, and conducting his own investigation into the disappearance.
I liked Gray's general disregard for his superiors, although it does him no favours, and I was frustrated with him sometimes for not being more open, or asking for help.
The story, beginning with the apparent suicide of a young man zips along nicely, and the bodies mount up. I didn't guess 'whodunit' so that was great. There is a bit of a cliff hanger at the end, so I am very much looking forward to reading a follow up.
You can see my review of Burn The Evidence by Keith Nixon here.
And my review of The Corpse Role also by Keith is here.
You can buy Dig Two Graves here: