Ground Rules by Richard Whittle
Monday 11th to Sunday 17th May 2020
I’m lucky to be participating in two Damppebbles Blog Tours this week!
Called out one night in the hope that she can identify the body of a man found in a field, Edinburgh forensic geologist Jessica Spargo – Jez – inadvertently becomes involved in the investigation of a university lecturer’s murder. The investigating officer, Tom Curtis, hands her a small glass vial and asks her to analyze its contents. She agrees to do it. The results confound everyone.
Media attention around a seemingly unconnected incident on a construction site near Edinburgh means that all work has stopped. An object discovered beneath the site confounds everyone, including the police. Employed by the firm’s owner to attempt to solve the mystery, Jez falls foul of an uncooperative site manager. Unruffled, she perseveres. Meanwhile, the murder mystery deepens. Despite her reluctance to become further involved, she has her own theories about the origin of the vial’s contents, theories the police do not accept.
To Jez’s dismay there are more deaths. As she says to Curtis, ‘I don’t do bodies. I’m a geologist, I look at rocks. If I’d wanted to look at bits of body then I would have become a surgeon or a pathologist.’
I have to give the author mad kudos for this book. Once I picked it up, it was nearly impossible to put down! I wasn’t certain that a crime novel featuring a geologist would be interesting, but boy, was I wrong!
Dr. Jessica Spargo( Jez to her friends), is a character that is a delight to read about. She’s wonderfully real in her interactions, from dealing with the grouchy DCI that asks her to consult on cases, to dealing with mansplaining on the job, or dealing with the fact that bodies are not at all to her taste. Honestly, I think the reason I like Jez is that I kept expecting her to quote Bones McCoy when at a crime scene.
Ground Rules weaves a beautifully complicated narrative between two seemingly unrelated cases, and Jez trying desperately to solve them both. The search for clues leads to Jez making contacts all over Scotland and the final revelation of whodunit is a complete surprise!
This book was a treat to read and I very much hope the author will write more of Jez’s adventures!
- Title: Ground Rules
- Author: Richard Whittle
- Publisher: Amazon
- Released: March 9, 2020
- Language: English
- Format: Ebook
- Pages: 235 pages
Richard has been a policeman, diesel engine tester, university student and engineering geologist. Writing as Alan Frost he was shortlisted from several hundred international competitors for the CWA (Crime Writers Association) Debut Dagger Award.
Much thanks to Damppebbles Blog Tours, and Richard Whittle for this opportunity.
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