The Devil’s Dice (by Roz Watkins)

As a Times recommendation, I had high hopes for this debut novel. Alas, it is a run of the mill crime thriller. The plot outline according to Goodreads: Detective Inspector Meg Dalton has recently returned to her Peak District roots when a man’s body is found near The Devil’s Dice – a vast network of caves and a well-known local suicide spot. The man’s initials and a figure of the Grim Reaper are carved into the cave wall behind his corpse, but bizarrely, the carvings have existed for over one hundred years.

I suspect this will be the start of a series of books featuring Meg Dalton and there is an unusual but perhaps unlikely back-story for this detective. The mix of detectives has a colourful selection of characters – some in conflict with Meg and others more supportive.

The curse is central to the plot, but initially, the family curse leads the detectives to investigate ancient folklore which seems a bit far fetched. Eventually, another family “curse” is revealed which is more believable.

The involvement of her mother does not ring true also. So I think there are failings in this plot. However, with a good plot, Meg has a future! It is an easy read with many humorous asides. Unfortunately, this one failed to live up to expectations.

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