The Burial Circle (2020) by Kate Ellis

Twelve years ago, a young hitchhiker vanished without trace. But when a storm blows down an old tree on a remote farm in Devon, tangled amongst its roots is a rucksack – and a human skeleton. It seems that Erica Walsh has finally been found – but the discovery is only the beginning…

In the nearby village of Peterham, a Psychic weekend is being held, with guest of honour, the celebrated TV psychic Damian Lee. The guesthouse isn’t a restful place though, as Damian finds himself haunted by spirits of the distant past – and murdered by someone from the present. DI Wesley Peterson and his team are surprised to find a link to both crimes – could they have been committed by the same person? And how are they linked to a series of murders in the village one hundred years previously?

I don’t think I’ve congratulated Kate on winning the CWA Dagger In The Library this year – a well-deserved honour. The Wesley Peterson series is now twenty-four books and counting, and a new title is always a highlight of my reviewing year. I think I’ve said it before, but Kate was the first author I met after starting the blog. We’ve bumped into each other a few times since then, and I’m delighted to see that we’re both going to be speaking at The Bodies From The Library conference this year. We last met up at Bodies a couple of years ago and it’ll be nice to see her again.

Kate Ellis and me at the British Library!

But back to the book. Basically, if you’ve read Kate’s books before, you know exactly what to expect. If you haven’t, well, let me explain. There will be multiple murders, past and present, with a link tying the murders in the distant past either directly or thematically. There will be multiple suspicious characters, most guilty of some sort of indiscretion, with suspicion bouncing around from one to another. There will be little twists and turns along the way, a satisfying conclusion to the mystery tying everything together and often some sort of mini-twist at the end. Factor in an endearing partnership of Wes Peterson and his boss, Gerry, and you have the first book for a while that I was physically carrying around, snatching a chapter or two during breaks in my working day.

Kate’s books have never let me down, and needless to say, this one didn’t either – a page-turner of a mystery from an author who is firmly on my must-read list. Haven’t said it for a while, but needless to say, this is Highly Recommended.

The Burial Circle is out tomorrow, February 6th, from Piatkus. Many thanks for the review copy.

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