I’m a steady fan of Detective Chief Inspector Brendan Moran, grappling with heinous murders in southwest England, while commandeering an eclectic, fascinating police crew. “Closer to the Dead” is the ninth in the series and strikes me as a welcome detour from the usual frantic investigation. This time, Moran is assigned the task of clearing up the cold case of a murder four decades earlier on an RAF base. At the same time, the blowback from an earlier case, in the form of a malevolent nemesis, crowds Moran’s crew and explodes into panicky pursuit. As ever, the author honors all the hallowed requirements of this genre: wonderful core characters, excellent characterization amidst the storyline, easily pictured evocations of England, a curly plot, and delicious ratcheting-up of tension. Closer to the Dead: another winner, Scott Hunter!