MYSTERY

How the Dead Speak

Atlantic Monthly. (Tony Hill & Carol Jordan, Bk. 11). Dec. 2019. 416p. ISBN 9780802147615. $28. M
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Five years after a Catholic convent and children’s home closes, the property’s new owners begin to tear up the lawn. Along with soil and grass, skeletons are unearthed, and it doesn’t take long to discern that the unmarked graves contain the remains of children. On the surface, this looks like a cold case job best handled by the local police, but Ian Rutherford, the new DCI of ReMIT, is determined to make a name for himself and takes over. Before long, a cadaver dog discovers fresher graves, and the case changes course. The team yearns for the direction of their former head, Carol Jordan, as they grapple with religious professionals intent on keeping the secrets that the bodies may divulge. Meanwhile, Carol is dealing with her own demons and working with a group investigating miscarriages of justice, and trying to get by while profiler Tony Hill is in jail.
VERDICT The 11th in McDermid’s series (Insidious Intent) is chock-full of crime and yet not as compelling as past installments. Regardless, fans and newcomers to the series will enjoy the twists and turns.

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