Continuing the DI Tom Mariner police procedural series by Chris Collett. This story takes Mariner out of his usual haunts in Birmingham, to a more rustic setting.
At the end of the previous novel in the series, Married Lies, Tom Mariner suffered a shocking personal loss. When Buried Lies begins, he has decided to take a holiday – a walking tour in the Welsh mountains. Back in his teens, he spent a summer in a village there, and he thinks he’ll revisit some old scenes.
At the same time, an ex-prisoner begins a series of revenge killings, repaying old “wrongs.” Everyone thinks he’s headed for Ireland, but in fact he’s on his way to Wales.
Driving to Wales, Mariner picks up a hitchhiker, a personable elderly academic who doesn’t seem to know much about walking tours. By chance they reconnect in Mariner’s destination village, where they share a room in a former youth hostel, owned by a woman who was Mariner’s girlfriend on that long-ago summer.
Meanwhile, Mariner comes across a murdered body on one of his hikes. And he grows curious about a local estate owned by a mysterious Russian, as well as a neighboring farm which claims to be growing organic vegetables(though Mariner can’t figure out how they’re paying the bills). When Mariner discovers yet another murder victim, the local police have no choice but to arrest him on suspicion.
I enjoyed Buried Lies, though I thought it tried to juggle too many balls at once. The final dramatic climax seemed a little contrived.
Still, Mariner is an interesting and admirable investigator, and the characters were interesting. Recommended with only minor cautions.