Book Review: Small Mercies by Alex Walters, the first in a new series set in the peak district

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Ritualistic killings, conspiracy theorists, threatened politicians, racist thugs, cults, troubled police officers ... What more could you want in a crime novel? Well in my opinion you couldn't really ask for much more. Small Mercies is the first in a new series by Alex Walters author of the very successful DI Alec Mckay series set in Scotland's Black Isles and the Marie Donovan series set in Manchester.

Here's the blurb

A killer is sending a message – but for who?

DI Annie Delamere
 and her colleague DS Zoe Everett are off duty and enjoying a walk on the Peak District’s vast moorlands when they stumble across a mutilated corpse. The victim is unclothed and his tattoos indicate an affinity with the occult. 

While Annie is put in charge of the case her long-term partner, MP Sheena Pearson, is confronted by a group of far right extremists. Rather than back down Sheena chooses to stand her ground – and almost pays for it with her life. 

As more bodies are found, Annie is under pressure to prove her worth. But with one eye on her personal affairs can she catch a murderer and still keep her loved ones safe? And are the killings the work of a deranged mind – or a cover for something even more chilling? 

Don’t miss this first novel in compelling new detective series that fans of Stephen Booth and Ann Cleeves will love.


My Thoughts

Small Mercies kicks off with DI Annie Delamare and her colleague Zoe Everett find a body on the moors whilst off duty. This is swiftly followed by an attack on Anni's partner, a local labour MP. The pace is fast with plenty to keep you wondering exactly where this investigation is going to lead. Walters drops in a few red herrings along the way which make the twists even more effective. 
I found the Derbyshire setting to be very evocative as, being from Yorkshire, I could really sense the emotions evoked by the settings. 

Walters nailed the young drug dealer characters dialogue and expressions and I loved the dialogue between Anni and her boss. 
This was a solid first novel in a series and I look forward to reading the next installment. 
4 * from me

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