Title: The Girl In The Grave
Author: Helen Phifer
Publication Date: 16th July 2019
About the book:
When the body of a teenage runaway is found hidden inside someone else’s grave in a small-town cemetery in The Lake District, an urgent call is made to Forensic Pathologist Beth Adams. Still traumatised by a recent attempt on her own life, one look at the beautiful girl’s broken body is enough to bring Beth out of hiding for the first time since her attack. She’s the only one who can help her trusted friend, Detective Josh Walker, crack the most shocking case of his career.
Beth struggles to believe it’s a coincidence that the gravesite was scheduled to be exhumed, exposing the evidence. Does this twisted killer want to be caught?
Throwing herself into her work Beth discovers traces of material beneath the victim’s fingernails that sets the team on the killer’s trail. But this critical lead comes at a dangerous price, exposing Beth’s whereabouts and dragging her back into her attacker’s line of fire once again.
With Beth’s own life on the line, the investigation is already cracking under the pressure. Then another local girl goes missing… Can Beth stay alive long enough to catch the killer before he claims his next victim?
What I Thought:
At the beginning of June I took part in a Six for Sunday post about books I would love to see. One of my answers was crime from a different viewpoint, something focusing more on the others involved in a murder investigation and one of my examples was a forensic pathologist and then I stumbled across this and my wish was granted!
Beth Adams is the pathologist on call when what should be a fairly routine exhumation becomes a little more complicated when a second body is found in the grave beneath the coffin. Beth soon finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation while trying to deal with a traumatic event in her past.
From reading the Lucy Harwin books I already knew that Helen was a pro at pulling together a plot and making sure readers engaged with it and The Girl In The Grave was no different. From the moment I opened the book to the moment it ended I was hooked. It was clear early on that Beth was still recovering from something and I remember thinking I hope we find out what happened in a future book, so imagine my surprise and delight when the plot progressed and it became clear we were going to get the history in this book! I really enjoyed the way the case and the personal aspects of the plot came together and I must confess the ending caught me slightly by surprise, I loved it!
Beth Adams is a fascinating character, we discover in the book that being a forensic pathologist wasn’t her first career choice, but one she moved into when her circumstances changed. I thought the insights into her past, and the daily struggles she still faces, along with the genuine desire to bring justice to the young girl who ended up on her table, combined to make Beth a really likeable character that I couldn’t help but connect with and feel she deserves something better in life.
Then there’s Josh, Josh in the local senior detective, responsible for coordinating investigations in his area. Josh came across pretty well in the story, his marriage isn’t in a good place, partially due to his commitment to the job, but he’s a good police officer who wants to do his best for the victim and I really warmed to him throughout the story
I was already a fan of Helen before picking up The Girl In The Grave and I certainly wasn’t disappointed by it! I think Beth is a fantastic character and I’m very much hoping we get to follow her and Josh investigate more cases! I’m still hoping for more of the Lucy Harwin series too though!
About The Author
Helen Phifer is the #1 Bestselling crime and horror novelist of the Annie Graham and Lucy Harwin series. Helen lives in a small town called Barrow-in-Furness with her husband and five children. She has lived in the same town since she was born. It gets some bad press, but it really is a lovely place to live. Surrounded by miles of coastline and not too far away from the beautiful Lake District, where she likes to visit as often as possible. She has always loved writing and reading since the days she learnt how to in infant school. She loves reading books that make the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end and make her afraid to go to the toilet, alone in the middle of the night. She is eternally grateful to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Herbert and Graham Masterton for scaring her senseless in her teenage years. Unable to find enough of the scary stories she loves to read, she decided to write her own.
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As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?