Ruined Stones by Eric Reed will do little to educate your mind or edify your soul, but it will take you away for an adventure to another time and place for a little while. Now and again – just what you need.
The book is set during the 1941 Blitz with mysteries to be solved first of the death of an unidentifiable woman which leaves much speculation for a motive and then another of a man hated by enough people to create a cast of suspects. Both bodies are left in a backwards swastika formation. Are they related or is there a copycat in place?
Grace Baxter, new constable for Newcastle-on-Tyne, gets assignments that reflect the dismissive attitudes of her superiors toward a new rookie – and a woman at that – until she takes it on herself to start following leads.
Plenty of possibilities for the perpetrator exist with one man who is Dutch (or is he German?), one who works outside under cover of night while the rest of the village observes the blackout inside, and any of the group of people who are interested in the spirit world. The setting with a ruined Roman temple and a church in close proximity adds to the tension. Grace questions whether her own ability to sense the spirits of the dead, inherited from her grandmother, will help her find the culprit and wrestles with whether the murderer is the same for both victims.
I received this adventure that will be published on July 4 in an ARC from Net Galley and enjoyed a trip away and back in time. One helpful hint: Flip to the back matter before you begin reading to get an explanation of the Geordie dialect and definitions. While Reed writes with enough context to figure out the words he uses, knowing the terms will save some time and distraction.