Dark Is the Grave by TG Reid [7/10]

A luminous literary fiction novelist (under a different name), TG Reid has now launched a archetypal police procedural series set in the dark, hilly Campsie Fells of central Scotland. The opening instalment, “Dark Is the Grave,” quickly sets the scene with the death of a policewoman at the hands of someone who is clearly a copycat of the Peek-al-boo maniac recently killed in an explosion that also caught the series’ hero, DCI Duncan Bone. Bone is now damaged goods, but like all good crime fiction heroes, the new killer brings him back to the fray. With his colourful crew of detectives at his side, Bone races to catch a macabre killer, somehow perilously close to Bone himself, even as he attempts to recover his place within his shattered family. Bone is a wonderful protagonist, the Scottish dialect livens up the dialogue, and the underlying crimes are captured with chilling authenticity. The story roars to a fine climax (though I guessed the twist, possibly due to good luck). I read heaps of this sub-genre at the moment, treasuring its theme of justice, and Dark Is the Grave brings a welcome new hero to my roster of regulars. Grab and enjoy.

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