Technically this is the second book in the Bone Field series, although it works well as a standalone read, so don’t be put off by not having read the first one. It certainly intrigues you as to the first book, however, so if you think you might like it, you’d get more out of it if you reached for book one first and extended the enjoyment!

There’s an awful lot going on in this book, plenty to get emotionally involved in and, of course, there are plenty of twists along the narrative to keep the pages turning. You have a dodgy lawyer running for his life, a string of murders of women stretching over time with a police officer giving everything to find the truth from a prominent gangster who seems untouchable by law, a domestic violence refuge and a makeshift burial site in a Welsh farmhouse. I loved the complexity of the story, especially as it all came across so accessibly and easy to follow. It’s predominantly a police procedural, told from the perspectives of various characters, including the criminals, but mainly ruthless DI Ray Mason as his off-the-record style of police work lets us cheer and feel anxiety for him in equal measures.

The best bit of this book is the climax towards the end, which left me really excited about the third book and where the story will go on from here, how many more layers will be torn away then? I can’t wait to find out!

Helen Corton 4/3

The Hanged Man by Simon Kernick
Arrow 9781784752262 pbk Apr 2018