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Summoning the Dead by Tony Black

October 13, 2016

A young child lies mummified in a barrel. His hands, cable-tied, appear to be locked in prayer. As forensic officers remove the boy they are in for an even bigger shock – he is not alone.

With his near-fatal stabbing almost a memory, DI Bob Valentine is settling back into life on the force but he knows nothing will ever be the same. Haunted by unearthly visions that appear like waking dreams, he soon understands he is being inducted into one of Scotland’s darkest secrets.

When the boy in the barrel is identified as a missing child from the 1980s, it re-opens a cold case that was previously thought unsolvable. When further remains are unearthed, the facts point to a paedophile ring and a political conspiracy that leads all the way to the most hallowed corridors of power.

This is a book which echoes the newspaper stories we have all read for some time now referring to the highest echelons of power and their alleged involvement in sadistic and paedophilic rings. Post Savile, it is not surprising that more fiction in this area is emerging.

This book is quite straightforward in its approach as it intersperses the police investigation into the discovery of the two murdered boys with scenes from thirty years ago, until the full story is unearthed in all its gruesome detail.

D.I. Bob Valentine is an honest copper, now recovering from an almost fatal injury from a previous job related incident. This has left his wife fearful for his future if he stays an active D.I. and, more interestingly, has left him with something of a mildly psychic aftershock. This new found ability is not something he is able to use to solve the case (thank goodness) but it does somehow help him to understand when he is on the right track.

Uncomplicated and despite the subject matter, easy to read, this is a book that deals well with a difficult subject matter and without over dramatisation or red herrings.

Summoning the Dead was published by Black and White Publishing on 6 Oct. 2016

 

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