THE DEVIL’S DICE by Roz Watkins
It’s always exciting to discover a new author in one’s favourite genre. Roz Watkins was brought to my attention by Stephen Booth (Cooper and Fry series) in his newsletter, and although I’m glad that I’ve read this, her first book in the DI Meg Dalton series, I think she still needs a little polishing. There’s a little too much repetition and she leaves too many assumptions up to the reader to make a smooth transition between discovering the crime and solving it.
Meg comes to her job as a DI in Derbeyshire (the Peak District) with lots of baggage – the death of her sister and its subsequent affect on Meg; a grandmother with a terminal illness who lives with Meg’s Mum; and questions about her ability to do the job. So when the body of a man is found in a cave, amidst rumours of a local curse, Meg crosses her fingers that she’s up to the task of finding out what lead to his murder.
Watkins peoples this novel with many characters, some of whom are very troubled individuals, and at times it’s an effort to remember who’s who. Her colorful descriptions of the area paint a perfect picture of both the ruggedness and the beauty of the Peak District. And if you’re at all claustrophobic, beware of the sections of the book that take place in caves!
A promising first novel which leaves me open to reading her next one in the series: Dead Man’s Daughter.