The Thirteenth Coffin, Nigel McCrery
The Thirteenth Coffin is #4 in a series of books featuring detective Mark Lapslie. I haven’t read any of the previous books, and didn’t find this a problem; it’s a good stand-alone read. Having said that, I did find the first half a dozen or so pages rather odd, and was tempted not to continue reading! Leslie is hampered by synaesthesia meaning that sounds translate into tastes for him; voices in particular offer a rich variety of tastes, and he struggles to keep his environment clear from extraneous noises.
At the start of the tale there are two apparently unconnected deaths – a young bride is shot as she and her new husband leave the church after their wedding – no sign of the gunman, who is apparently a crack shot at great distance. Across town, the body of a tramp is found in an old Cold War bunker. It doesn’t look like the tramp was murdered, but the discovery of his body leads the police to find a set of miniature coffins and wax dolls, which Lapslie feels are linked to the murder of the bride.
After getting over the first few pages, I found this book quite riveting, to the point of actually trying to tell the main character what I thought he was missing!
This is a fast-paced book, with twists and turns that have been very well thought out and woven into the plot. I hadn’t read books by this author before, but will now look out for them. A good read, and definitely worth persevering past the first few pages.
Thanks are due to the publishers, Quercus Books for providing a pre-release copy for review, via Netgalley.