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.

The Devil’s Dice (by Roz Watkins)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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