Author: Kate Ellis, 2011
Genre: Crime Thriller. Police Procedural. Historical Mystery. Egyptology.
Other Details: Hardback. 393 pages.
When a teenage girl is strangled and left for dead on a lonely country lane by an attacker she describes as having the head of a dog, the police are baffled. But when the body of another young woman is found mutilated and wrapped in a white linen sheet, DI Wesley Peterson suspects that the killer is performing an ancient ritual linked to Anubis, the jackal-headed Egyptian god of death and mummification.
Meanwhile, archaeologist Neil Watson has been called to Varley Castle to catalogue the collection of Edwardian amateur Egyptologist Sir Frederick Varley. As his research progresses, Neil discovers that Wesley's strange murder case bears sinister similarities to four murders that took place near Varley Castle in 1903 - murders said to have been committed by Sir Frederick's son. As the Jackal Man's identity remains a frustrating enigma, it seems that the killer has yet another victim in mind. A victim close to Wesley Peterson himself... - synopsis from author's website.
This was a terrific instalment of this consistently well-crafted series. There is also a sub-plot linked to Wesley's earlier life at the Met when his old boss from the Arts and Antiques squad turns up on the trail of smugglers of ancient Egyptian artefacts that he has traced to South Devon. As always there were plenty of suspects for the murders and also for the smuggling operation. There were plenty of twists, turns and frightening moments before the killer was unmasked. Their identity caught me totally by surprise, something Ellis excels at.
I do feel sorry for dear old Doctor Neil Watson, he just is so hopeless at expressing himself when he finds himself attracted to a woman. Maybe before the series ends he'll find love. Getting close to the end of the series to date, with only two more to read.