Title: Small Bones (Harvey and Birch #2)
Author: Kerry Buchanan
Published on: 3rd June 2021
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Police Procedural
Small Bones is the second book in Kerry Buchanan‘s Harvey and Birch series.
Sue Hearn is planting a herb garden on the site of her late grandfather’s old greenhouse. She finds a bone – it can very well be that of a dead animal. But when she digs deeper and finds a skull, she’s pretty sure a dead body was buried in the greenhouse. Could it be that of her mother who went missing three decades ago? Sue asks her ex-coworker to help her out. The ex-coworker happens to be a forensic scientist for the local law enforcement. When he finds out the victim was murdered, he calls Acting Detective Inspector Asha Harvey and Detective Constable Aaron Birch.
The SOCOs and detectives Harvey and Birch are called to the site of discovery. Sue confides in Asha about her missing mother. But the skeleton is found to be that of a child. Sue’s father is now an invalid and suffers from dementia. He tells her the police were responsible for her mother’s disappearance. Asha and Aaron start to investigate. The perp is also informed of the current developments. Asha and Aaron’s life is on the line and they are attacked multiple times but they want to get to the bottom of this case.
What a fantastic police procedural! Completely engrossing and gripping! This time we have Asha and Aaron looking for a bent copper. What’s worse is, the copper is on prowl. He leaves nobody behind. Killing of an innocent child is the proof of how evil he can get.
The first half of the story alternates between past and present. Events leading up to young Will’s death, Monica’s disappearance and Alistair preying on victims is the past part of the story. Present deals with Sue wanting to know more of her estranged family, what really happened to her mother and the detectives trying to gather clues. Asha is attacked and Sue is kidnapped. Sue manages to escape and Asha recovers soon enough. But the perp isn’t happy about this.
We might also have a possible romance angle in the future books of this series – Asha and Aaron; for now, Asha has bro-zoned Aaron. The previous book ended with Aaron being grievously injured. He has recovered but with the killer on prowl, Aaron’s life is on the line, again.
The second half of the story is nothing short of a nail-biting adventure. The chase intensifies. Tension is at an all-time high. Asha and Aaron have been attacked by the perp’s goons but they do not take no for an answer. They are adamant and want to bring the perp down. Speaking of which, there’s an unexpected twist at the end. I suppose this ‘network of bad coppers’ will be explored further in the next book and I cannot wait to see what’s next for Asha and Aaron.
Kerry Buchanan is a master storyteller. I really loved the writing style and the character development. The mystery is well-maintained throughout and kept me hooked on to the story until the end. Consider me a fan of this series and Kerry’s writing. If you like gritty police procedurals that keeps you on the edge of your seat, make sure to add Small Bones by Kerry Buchanan to your TBR list.
Many thanks to the lovely Nina from Joffe Books for the ARC.