These two books are the start of an exciting new crime series from Heather Peck, set mostly in the Norfolk Broads. In both books Heather uses her local knowledge of Norfolk and her experience of farming procedures gained from a career with DEFRA to create a realistic and believable background to the plot. They are very well written, with good plots and interesting characters. Personally I loved them!
Secret Places opens on a farm in Yorkshire with the discovery of a skeleton. The police enquiry quickly points to a former owner of the farm, but as well as following the investigation, the book explores the back story of the principal suspect in parallel and delves into issues of domestic violence and subversive control. This has an engaging well researched plot which introduces DI Greg Geldard and Norfolk paramedic and former police office Ben Asheton.
Secret Places by Heather Peck
Silverwood Press; Paperback 282 pages
ISBN 9781800420403; RRP £9.99
Glass Arrows picks up the story as Geldard moves to Norfolk and promotion to DCI. An unexplained death on a turkey farm in Stalham soon develops into a complex multiple murder enquiry with threads of smuggling, modern slavery and illegal gangmaster operations. Geldard is thrown in at the deep end, having to learn about his team at the same time as leading a major murder enquiry and coping with his own personal issues – although it’s nice to have a fictional police officer who isn’t an alcoholic with a completely dysfunctional personal life. Like Secret Places this is difficult to put down – I particularly enjoyed the thorough research and accuracy around the locations, plus the realistic depiction of the process of evidence gathering by the police.
Glass Arrows was shortlisted for the 2021 East Anglian Book Awards fiction prize.
Glass Arrows by Heather Peck
Silverwood Press; Paperback 308 pages
ISBN 9781800420854; RRP £9.99
These two books are highly recommended for all lovers of crime fiction set in Norfolk – if you enjoy David Blake, Chris Crowther or Elly Griffiths, you will love these.