Dead in the Water by Mark Ellis
The Second World War rages on but Britain now faces the Nazi threat with America at its side.
In a bombed-out London swarming with gangsters and spies, DCI Frank Merlin continues his battle against rampant wartime crime. A mangled body is found in the Thames just as some items of priceless art go mysteriously missing. What sinister connection links the two?
Merlin and his team follow a twisting trail of secrets and lies as they investigate a baffling and deadly puzzle.
There is something about a thriller set in World War II. The setting for Dead in the Water (Headline Accent) by Mark Ellis is bombed out London. Despite the war, crime still goes on and there is a murderer on the loose. But what has this got to do with the fact that some priceless art pieces suddenly go missing. This is a terrifically enjoyable historical thriller.
The story begins with a prologue set in Vienna in November 1938 and the Katz family. This sets the tone for what is really to follow.
For some the backdrop of war is the perfect time to commit crime and Britain has been facing the Nazi menace on her own but now America has entered the war and American soldiers and airman are arriving in the UK. London is scarred by the blitz but for DCI Merlin he has his hands full in solving a murder of a Russian spy. A black US serviceman has already been arrested and tried by the US military and now faces the death penalty, but the man pleads he is innocent of the crime, and he is believed by DCI Merlin, and so the race is on to find the killer before he is hanged. The clock is ticking. Time is running out.
Inside the Capital there are also Nazi spies operating, could there somehow be a link between the death of the Russian spy and the Nazi operatives in London. Some are operating as double agents, and this is a confusing picture for the police. But at the same time there are several priceless art pieces that are going missing. Who is the mysterious buyer in Portugal? The plot moves across parts of Europe, so the action is not centred purely in London.
The murders continue and for DCI Merlin and his team the sense that the killer might just be in plain sight might not be as simple as it seems. The plot thickens and the team must use all their ingenuity to put all the evidence together to find who really is behind the crimes.
What I really enjoyed was how Mark Ellis has weaved together a compelling historical thriller with the setting that is well described. Characters are so important in novels and Ellis has these drawn so brilliantly and this must go for how the plots keep you guessing all the way through to the end. Dead in the Water is an enjoyable and satisfying read.
My thanks to Amber Choudhary (Midas PR) for the review Copy of Dead in the Water by Mark Ellis Published by Headline Accent on 19 May 2022 and is now available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop or through Bookshop.org that supports your local independent bookshop. UK Bookshop.org
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