Book log: WJ Burley — Wycliffe and the Dunes Mystery

Fifteen years ago, the son of a prominent MP disappeared whilst on a coastal walking holiday after his release from a psychiatric hospital. The police had assumed suicide. Now his body has been found buried in the sand dunes, and it’s clear his father was right all along — the young man had been murdered.

A flashback prologue makes it clear to the reader from the start that a group of six teenagers having an illicit weekend were the last people to see Cochrane Wilder alive. The fun in the first half of the book is watching Wycliffe’s team slowly piece together the clues that lead them to first one member, then the whole group. But knowing that one or more of the group was almost certainly responsible for Cochran Wilder’s death and burial isn’t the same thing as being able to prove who did it and why — not when all six also have relatively innocent reasons for hiding their involvement in that weekend. And then a second murder is committed, making this more than just a cold case to be patiently unravelled…

As usual, a nicely constructed police procedural where the emphasis is on the characters and how they behave. Much of the appeal in this one is in initially knowing a little more information than Wycliffe does, and so being anticipating how the plot will develop — the amount of extra information you get is nicely played to provide a good balance between the enjoyment of working it out and the enjoyment of being surprised by other developments. I enjoy that style of procedural, so I liked this one a lot.

LibraryThing entry
at Amazon UK
at Amazon US

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