Laying Out The Bones by Kate Webb


Meet Detective Inspector Matt Lockyer. Lucky to still have a job at all, he’s heading up the cold cases team for the Wiltshire Constabulary. In this second book of the series, he finds himself looking into a string of deaths, potentially murders and each of which are highly likely to be related to the murder nine years previously of a young woman called Holly Gilbert, whose killers had never been found.

On a hot summer’s day, Lockyer and his colleague DC Gemma Broad are on the scene where the body of Lee Geary has been discovered. He was an acquaintance of Holly Gilbert. In the weeks following Holly’s death, Lee and two other suspects were questioned in connection with her death. As Lockyer and Broad start their investigation, each of those three suspects have since died or disappeared. Lockyer doubts that the four deaths of these connected persons in the space of a decade can have been a coincidence, but proving otherwise was going to take a lot of hard work and patience.

Having read the first DI Lockyer mystery, I was interested to read more about the main detective, who carries the burden of his own brother’s unsolved murder with him. Lockyer is one of the good guys but he doesn’t always follow procedure when justice would not (in his view) be best served. This has landed him in hot water before, almost costing him his career, but he doesn’t seem to have fully learned his lesson, and this book also sees him making a few unorthodox moves when he discovers a mystery closer to home, in his own home in fact.

The book is a slow burn but once the story catches it rips along to a conclusion, tying up all the threads, not without a few twists along the way.  In this second book, we get better acquainted with Lockyer and Broad and how they work together. I’m sure this will continue to be a good series as there is more for each of these characters to reveal.

Laying Out The Bones will be published on 18 January 2024. I read an advance reader copy from Netgalley, courtesy of Quercus. I give this book 4 stars.

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