Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Death Knocks Twice by Robert Thorogood! I'm kicking off the tour with a review and an extract. I've been very excited about this since I'm a big fan of both the Death in Paradise TV show and the other books in the series. I hope I can do the book justice with my review!
Thank you to the lovely Rebekah for organising the tour.
The new Death in Paradise mystery.
Two dead bodies. A family of suspects. One grumpy detective.
Reluctantly stationed on the sweltering Caribbean island of Saint-Marie, Detective Inspector Richard Poole dreams of cold winds, drizzly rain and a pint in his local pub.
Just as he is feeling as fed up as can be, a mysterious vagrant is found dead in the grounds of the historic Beaumont plantation. Immediately assumed to be suicide, DI Poole is not so convinced and determined to prove otherwise. Never mind that the only fingerprints on the murder weapon belong to the victim. Or that the room was locked from the inside.
Before long, death knocks twice and a second body turns up. The hunt is on to solve the case – despite the best efforts of the enigmatic Beaumont family…
Opening the very first page, I was instantly swept straight to Saint-Marie. The heat of the Caribbean and the humour of DI Poole's typical 'Englishness' emanates from the page.
Despite his unorthodox ways, you can't not love Richard Poole. All of the characters are well-developed and their individual characteristics shine through.
I don't think it's necessary to read the earlier books to be able to understand Death Knocks Twice. However both the previous books and the TV series are first class and I definitely think they are worth taking a look at. I feel like this enhanced my understanding of the characters and the setting even more.
The narrative is witty and perfectly paced. I was lead in so many different directions and there were plenty of twists. It was brilliantly plotted and the book was enjoyable from beginning to end.
I love how all is revealed as the group gather together for DI Poole to wrap up the case. I didn't guess who the culprit was at all. It was thoroughly satisfying.
Overall, I'm giving Death Knocks Twice 5 out of 5 and adding it to my Five Star Favourites shelf! It's witty, twisty and it injected plenty of sunshine into a rainy day. It's definitely one of my favourite books of the summer.
Death Knocks Twice is out today! Published by HQ
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.
Within seconds, he was lost. The vines and vegetation pressed into his face, the fetid smell of the jungle was revolting – it seemed to be a pungent mix of rotting fruit and decaying animals – which, when Richard thought about it, was very possibly because the jungle was full of rotting fruit and decaying animals. He felt whole rivers of sweat run down his back. Where had the women got to? Richard heard some branches snapping up ahead, and he made himself push through the sticky vegetation another ten or so paces until he saw the figures of Camille and Lucy through a thick screen of vines. Before he lost his nerve entirely, Richard covered the remaining distance like a mad marionette – his legs and arms lifting as high and wide as possible – until he burst through the wall of vines into a little clearing.
As Richard dashed the burrs, berries and sticky god-knows-whats from his jacket and trouser legs, he could see Camille looking directly at him and smiling broadly. He gritted his teeth. As far as Richard was concerned, it wasn’t his fault he didn’t function well in a tropical jungle, was it? His last posting had been to Croydon, for heaven’s sake.
“You okay, sir?” Camille asked, pretending to be concerned.
“Yes. I’m fine,” he said.
“Then I think you need to see this. I’ve found something.”
Richard went over and saw that Camille and Lucy had found an area of ground that was littered with empty water bottles, paper bags that had once contained fresh food, crushed cigarette packets and an empty bottle of cheap vodka.
“There’s been someone here,” Camille said, indicating the food.
Richard saw a column of bright red fire ants – each seemingly the size of his thumb – marching up to and engulfing a bag that had once contained a pastry of some sort, and he took a couple of steps back.
“Although I don’t see any evidence of anyone sleeping out here,” Camille said, looking about herself. “No tent’s been pitched. Or bivouac. Or rain cover of any sort.”
“I see,” Richard said, lifting his feet up one by one to check that an army of fire ants weren’t already marching up his legs. “So tell me, Ms Beaumont, is there anything else you noticed about the man you saw earlier today?”
“I’m sorry,” Lucy said. “I’ve told you everything I can remember. He was definitely a man. And he was definitely old. I didn’t really notice his clothes, but he had this beard – sort of whitish, sort of grey – and long-flowing grey hair. That’s all I saw. And I had no idea that he had any kind of camp in the jungle here.”
Richard looked about himself. It wasn’t much to go on, was it? An old tramp had been spying on Lucy from the jungle. And when Lucy had tried to confront him, he’d run away.
There was a sudden bang from nearby – followed by a flock of parrots squawking into the air above the jungle.
“What was that?” Lucy asked.
“That sounded like a gunshot,” Camille said to her boss.
“What?” Lucy said, panicking.
“Quiet!” Richard ordered, trying to work out where the sound had come from. Like Camille, he’d already guessed that the sharp retort had been from a gun of some kind.
There was a second bang, and, without thinking, both Camille and Richard started running towards the noise – Richard this time pushing through the vines and vegetation without any thought for his personal safety – or that of his suit – and they soon burst out of the jungle and back into the blinding sunlight of the cobbled yard. There was no-one nearby. So where had the gunshot come from?
About the Author
Robert Thorogood is the creator of the hit BBC One TV series DEATH IN PARADISE.
He was born in Colchester, Essex, in 1972. When he was 10-years old, he read his first proper novel – Agatha Christie’s Peril at End House – and he’s been in love with the genre ever since.
He now lives in Marlow in Buckinghamshire with his wife, children and an increasingly cranky Bengal cat called Daniel.