It’s my stop today on the blog tour for The Viaduct Killings by Wes Markin. Many thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite.
Title: The Viaduct Killings (The Yorkshire Murders #1)
Author: Wes Markin
Published on: 21 November 2022
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Police Procedural
The Viaduct Killings is the first book in Wes Markin’s Yorkshire Murders series.
Still grieving from the tragic death of her colleague, DCI Emma Gardner continues to blame herself and is struggling to focus. So, when she is seconded to the wilds of Yorkshire, Emma hopes she’ll be able to get her mind back on the job, doing what she does best – putting killers behind bars.
But when she is immediately thrown into another violent murder, Emma has no time to rest. Desperate to get answers and find the killer, Emma needs all the help she can. But her new partner, DI Paul Riddick, has demons and issues of his own.
And when this new murder reveals links to an old case Riddick was involved with, Emma fears that history might be about to repeat itself…
Oh my wow! What a fantastic, totally engrossing, compelling, brilliant and mind-blowing police procedural. A perfect start to a series with a right mix of murder mystery, series-scene setting and character introduction.
The story begins with a prologue: DCI Emma Gardner and her colleague are investigating the murder of a local deadbeat. They are at a suspect’s home for questioning when Emma hears a commotion outside. She goes out to see what it is, and finds two boys fighting. One’s holding a knife. The boy runs away and Emma chases him. When she returns to the suspect’s home, she finds the suspect and her colleague dead.
Three months later, Emma is still blaming herself for the death of her colleague. She knows it was not her fault but guilt is a vicious enemy of the mind. Her boss recommends transfer to the wilds of Yorkshire, hoping a change of venue might do Emma some good.
Soon after Emma reaches North Yorkshire, she’s assigned a murder case. A young boy who recently turned eighteen is found dead near the Viaduct. He was strangled to death. From her new partner, DI Paul Riddick, Emma learns the boy was a “little shit.” As she and Paul start to investigate the case, they learn the young boy’s murder has something to do with Paul’s old case.
Paul has his own demons to face. He drinks – morning, noon, evening or night, he finds solace in spirits. His former boss Anders (whom Emma replaced) treats Paul like his own son – and has been Paul’s mentor. Anders tries to interfere in the murder case but Emma shows him his place – on the other side of the crime-scene tape.
I loved the setting, the characters’ backstory and the mystery. A story becomes a masterpiece when the author does a fantastic job of storytelling. So, kudos to the master storyteller (and a new favorite author to me) Wes Markin.
We have two PoVs in the first half of the book: the current murders and flashbacks from a young girl named Kelsey. As the story began, I wondered if Kelsey’s bullying had some link to Paul Riddick. Turns out, Kelsey’s suicide was investigated by Paul. And it caused quite an uproar because, according to the public, Paul acted insensitively.
It was heart-wrenching to read about Paul’s loss. The poor guy lost the one thing that mattered to him the most. No wonder he was drinking like there’s no tomorrow. Speaking of characters’ side stories, we have a flashback of Emma’s childhood (at the beginning of the book) and some development on this topic in the second half of the story. There’s a shocking twist at the end and I am looking forward to seeing how this affects Emma.
The mystery behind the murder kept me guessing till the end. The identity of the killer was a huge shocker. I never saw the twists coming.
If you are looking for a gripping, intense and completely engrossing police procedural, I recommend you to give The Viaduct Killings by Wes Markin a try.