The House in the Woods, a review by Joanna

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The House in the Woods

Mark Dawson

Published on April 27th, 2023

Welbeck Publishing

498 pages



The House in the Woods is an engaging British crime thriller from the creator of the John Milton series. It was first published in 2020, but is being rereleased – I received an ARC and then discovered I had already bought it a while back, but was happy to have a reason to bump it up the TBR, as I do like this author.

Atticus Priest is a former detective with the Salisbury CID, who lost his job for drug use and has now set up as a private investigator. Down on his luck and desperate for work, he’s initially pleased to be asked to assist the defence in a murder investigation – a man accused of shooting his parents and siblings in their remote farmhouse, until he learns he’s up against his ex-boss and former lover, DCI Mack Jones. The evidence against his client seems overwhelming, so Priest must find a new angle to cast reasonable doubt – and now he no longer has to follow the rules…
This was cleverly plotted murder mystery featuring two likeably flawed main characters, and I was pleased to discover there are two more in the series to look forward to. I enjoyed the tension between Atticus and Mack as more of what happened between them is revealed. Unfortunately there was a huge Clanger of a clue early on which revealed whodunnit – although not why. It didn’t spoil it completely, as I was still in suspense about how things would turn out, but it keeps it from achieving 5 stars. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

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