A Glyn Capaldi Mystery by Ewart Hutton
Review: Ejected from the police force in Cardiff, Detective Sergeant Glyn Capaldi has been assigned to rural Wales, where the most exciting cases he investigates are a series of lamb castrations and construction equipment going missing in the woods. But then a body is discovered on the site of a future wind farm, and he's back in the middle of a murder investigation, in Dead People, the second mystery in this series by Ewart Hutton.
The body had been bured for a while, and is missing its head and hands, making immediate identification impossible. Glyn's superiors write it off as a killing elsewhere, the body dumped there, but Glyn isn't so sure, arguing that it's a hard place to get to and only a local would know the way in. But then another body is found, this one bured far more recently, and of a woman, also without head and hands. Glyn is taken off the case, but he's convinced that the more senior officers assigned to it are looking in all the wrong places. Not that he knows where to look, but he's certain there is a local connection here, and he needs to find out what it is.
There is a lot of misdirection in Dead People, some of it intentional for the reader, but much of it intended to lead everyone, Glyn included, in circles. More bodies are discovered, suggesting a serial killer is at work, but the connection between them is elusive. Late in the book, Glyn is so unsure about the status of the investigation that he asks himself, "[C]ould I be circling the wrong tree? Was my guy someone who wasn't even on my radar? I didn't want to consider that one. But this was getting depressing. Finding myself coming up short every time I thought I was about to get an answer." The case is a complicated one, probably more than it needs to be, but all the clues — and there are a lot of them — eventually come together in a consistent manner, leading Glyn to confront … the wrong man. But it is during this conversation that he puts the final piece into place. He cleverly solves the mystery of the titular dead people but of course gets no credit for doing so.
The central plotline here is interestingly convoluted and could easily have gone astray, yet it is the strongly drawn character of Glyn Capaldi that keeps it all in perspective and holds the story together to a satisfying conclusion.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Dead People for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), April 2013
ISBN-13: 9781250019615; ISBN-10: 1250019613
Location(s) referenced in Dead People: Wales
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Dead People by Ewart Hutton — A Glyn Capaldi Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: April 2014
List Price: $25.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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