HQ | 2019 (4 April) | 384p | Review copy | Buy the book
A ten-year old girl is caught running through the woods in the Peaks, heading towards the gorge Dead Girl’s Drop. She is in her nightdress and it’s covered in blood. She tells DI Meg Dalton that her name is Abbie and she lives in Bellhurst House, an intimidating, frightening Victorian Gothic house. It’s almost no surprise that Meg should find in a house such as this the body of a man, Abbie’s father, his throat cut. It looks like the work of an intruder but, as Meg dips deeper into this disturbing case, she learns that both Abbie and her father had heart transplants and Abbie is having nightmares which she believes are based on events in the life of her donor. Can this be connected to the murder? The truth could be more shocking than Meg could ever have suspected.
When I read The Devil’s Dice, Roz Watkins’ debut novel and our introduction to Meg Dalton, I knew that this was the beginning of something special and Dead Man’s Daughter is every bit as good. I love everything about these books so it’s not easy knowing where to start but a good place might be with Roz Watkins’ writing, which is fabulous. The author writes with such confidence, naturalness and wit that the characters and their world seems entirely believable and it makes the reader want to be involved. There are lines here that made me laugh out loud. Meg is our narrator and she’s a lovely person. She’s self-deprecating, very funny and she’s so caring and engaged with the world around her.
Meg Dalton is a triumph and the poor woman has much to contend with here in the rather unpleasant shape of her sergeant, Craig. This man is just not as capable as Meg, or indeed anyone else, and he hates the fact and, as a result, also hates Meg. The rest of Meg’s team, such as Jai, returns and they give Meg all the support she needs but, with Craig, they have an awful lot to put up with. Hard as it is for them, it’s very entertaining for us. I really enjoyed this non-relationship. Meg deserves a medal… Meg’s past isn’t about to go away and it haunts her here, but not in a way that dominates her character or the novel. But there is one aspect of her private life that is deeply moving and plays a significant role here and I love the way in which Roz Watkins handles it with such deep care. How could you not love Meg Dalton?
The story is fantastic. This is a perfect and genuine whodunnit in my opinion. There are plenty of red herrings and there is also that sense of something otherworldly and strange. There’s a feeling that anything might be possible and so the reader should just sit back and enjoy it. We are in an expert’s hands here.
I cannot praise Dead Man’s Daughter enough. I loved every page of it. I love the setting in the Peak District, always a favourite location of mine. I love the characters and I was completely immersed in the mystery. Above all else, I adore Meg Dalton. She knows how to make me laugh and she knows how to bring me to the edge of my seat. I really hope this series runs and runs because it is definitely one of the best and Meg Dalton is right up there with my favourites along with Roberta Steele, Logan McRae, Marnie Rome, Tony McLean, Kim Stone, Ruth Galloway, Kate Daniels and Ben Cooper. This is an exclusive club and Meg Dalton definitely belongs in it. I can’t wait for book three.
The Devil’s Dice
I’m delighted to kick off the Blog Tour with my review. For other stops on the tour, do take a look at the poster below.