The remains of a 17th Century witch, an MP found hanging above a five-pointed star, and three girls with powers beyond anyone’s control.
As DI Tanner and DS Evans endeavour to make plans for their big day, the chance discovery of Norfolk’s last known witch, tried and hanged by Norfolk’s infamous Witchfinder General, sparks a chain of the most horrific events, none of which Tanner seems able to stop.
Four missing children, three murdered men, and the helm of a boat with a blood-red sail, hiding a
secret only he can tell.
Returning to the Broads after nearly two years at sea, Tanner moors up next to a boat to find the body of a man whose five-year-old daughter is nowhere to be seen. As a torrent of unwanted memories begins flooding through his mind, an attractive Broads Ranger arrives at the scene with a disturbing tale; one of children being taken by a ghostly figure, standing at the helm of an old wooden boat.
Consistently ranked within the top 30 most read authors on Amazon.co.uk, David Blake is a full-time author living in North London. To date he has written eighteen books along with a collection of short stories. He’s currently working on his nineteenth, The Wherryman, which is the next in his series of crime fiction thrillers after Broadland, St. Benet’s, Moorings, Three Rivers and Horsey Mere. When
not writing, David likes to spend his time mucking about in boats, often in the Norfolk Broads, where his crime fiction books are based.
These were both excellent, slightly macabre, crime novels, set amongst the Norfolk Broads, drawing on folklore and history, strange figures among the reeds.
Horsey Mere concerns witchcraft and the fact that in the 17th Century more women were executed as witches in East Anglia than anywhere else in England. A suspected witch’s skeleton is found on the mere and it unleashes a spree of madness, with supposed modern witches targeted and attacked. It also comes with a body count; starting with the local MP. Local detectives race against time to stop more people dying, but for Tanner and Evans they might just run out of time.
The Wherryman takes place two years later, as the next in the series, so there’s some character changes at the police station. Someone is abducting children and then a man is found murdered and his daughter gone. Tanner starts to investigate and it all seems linked to some unpleasant London gangsters who’ve moved east.
Both clever and well written, with spots of genuinely amusing humour and also terrible darkness inside people, I’m going to be catching up on the previous titles in the series.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.