Detective Inspector Avison Fluke is a man on the edge. He has committed a crime to get back to work, concealed a debilitating illness and is about to be made homeless. Just as he thinks things can’t get any worse, the body of a young woman is found buried on a wet, Cumbrian building site.
Shot once in the back of the head, execution style, it is a cold, calculated murder. When the post-mortem reveals she has gone to significant expense in disguising her appearance, and the only clue to her identity is a strange series of numbers, Fluke knows this is no ordinary murder.
With the help of a psychotic ex-Para, a gangland leader and a woman more interested in maggots than people, Fluke must find out who she was and why she was murdered before he can even think about finding her killer. As the body count rises and his investigation takes him from poverty stricken estates to picture perfect Lake District villages, he realises his troubles are only just beginning.
Because someone, somewhere has a plan and if Fluke can’t figure out what’s happening, he may just be next.
Mike Craven is an author who I’ve heard so much about, mainly from my blogging buddy Noelle over at Crime Book Junkie. Having seen her rave so many times about him I thought it was time to give his books a go.
Born In A Burial Gown is a brilliant police procedural novel. Most crime books I tend to read tend to be more the action side or a mixture of reading between the criminal and the detective, so reading this authors novels was a very pleasant surprise as I didn’t think one concentrating mainly on the procedural side could ever be so riveting.
Through Fluke and Lucy I learned so much about how they work out how long a body has been dead for which for some might be a bit morbid, personally I found it fascinating.
The author spends quite a bit of time letting the readers get to know Fluke so that we pretty much know all that there is to know, which to a certain extent builds up a respect between the reader and the character.
Towler, Fluke’s sidekick is a character that I absolutely loved. He reminded me slightly of being a Rottweiler on a lead that Fluke at times has to rein in as he can get a bit carried away. Rottweiler lovers don’t fret as I know they can be very loving animals also which is a side that you do get to see of Towler briefly throughout the novel also. He brings a bit of light hearted relief in areas as he is a stereo typical bloke who speaks before he thinks and jokes about inappropriate things but I don’t think Fluke or the readers would have him any other way.
The death that Fluke and his team are investigating turns out not to be as straight forward as they first thought and how they work out who the murderer is was just brilliant. It was almost like a jigsaw, that all the little snippets of findings and information all of a sudden reveals the bigger picture and it just left me craving for more.
Born In A Burial Gown really is a gripping novel. It is very much the thinking ‘mans’ crime book as it concentrates mainly on the procedural side yet manages to still feel as fast paced at times as an action one. With a great line up of characters, this is one crime series that has left me desperate for more as well as being excited about what else is to come.
Goodreads rating 5/5 stars.
Born In A Burial Gown is available to purchase from Amazon.