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  • Shaun Baines

Grave Intent by AM Peacock

DCI Lambert is back.

Having read the author's first book – Open Grave – I was more than ready for its sequel.

Set in the north-east of England, gruff DCI Lambert is faced with multiple problems. A murder investigation, an assassin, a potential gang war and a crumbling love life.

Suspicion falls on everyone and it is never clear who can be trusted. It creates a tense atmosphere and we latch on to the main character, hoping he'll guide us through the rollercoaster plot.

DCI Lambert is a man with a history and he carries it on his shoulders, never allowing anyone to get too close. He's enigmatic and tough, like a Clint Eastwood type. This is in spite of being surrounded by secondary characters who clearly adore him.

However, Lambert's arch nemesis McGuinness isn't one of them. The relationship between the pair sizzles as they try to out manoeuvre each other. It has a classic feel to it, as if Sherlock and Moriarty had been transported to Newcastle to duke it out.

One thing that impressed me was the witty dialogue. It was authentic and funny. Each character had a distinct voice, which is often hard to achieve in ensemble pieces.

This book should definitely be added to your letter to Santa. Grave Intent can be read as a stand-alone, but there are callbacks to the first book so I recommend you treat yourself to them both.

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