Publishing Date: April 2015
Publisher Description: A suspected ritual murder and a string of puzzling artefact thefts initially seem unconnected, but signs point to something bigger: buried skulls possessed by evil spirits start turning up, and they may only be the beginning. Someone is planning something big, and the consequences if they succeed could be catastrophic.
Review: This had huge problems with scene development. Every scene was coupled to this inner dialogue that becomes this monolithic backstory that may or may not have anything to do with the present circumstances. DCI Pierce is constantly bitching about people being bitches and either internalizes it or talks about it, constantly. BUT, she doesn’t want anything to do with office politics and wishes they would leave her out of it <sigh>.
This writing style is very similar to writers that were born in England. Heavy on the dialogue and inner emotive struggles with other people. This process develops a product that you either love or hate due to the copious dialogue. The scenes either get mired in dialogue, back story or infinite details. For example, one of Pierce’s underlings hires a necromancer to divine the buried skulls. So rather than stop the idiot because of her misgivings she allows it, meanwhile the inner dialogue of her ferretting mind is churning over how to handle Dawson. When the real event occurs (Necro dude demon possessed) it lacks the impact that it could of had. All the scenes are rendered in similar fashion and are left flat because of it.
Then we have the old shtick in the form of DCI Pierce, and I quote “A hard-nosed career officer in the male-dominated world of British policing“. Hard nosed? More like hard whiner. The heavy dialogue and internal back stories really killed the movement and subsequently killed the character development. The writing is superb, just angled in the wrong direction.