ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – Unburied by Heather Critchlow

Unburied by Heather Critchlow is published by Canelo Crime and available now in paperback, eBook and audiobook. My thanks to Kate Shepherd for the review copy.

The police. They’re digging in the scrapyard.’

Cal Lovett has spent half his life telling other people’s stories on his true crime podcast. But the police are close to solving the mystery of his sister’s disappearance – now he might finally get to tell Margot’s story.

A desperate relative begs for his help.

Cal seeks respite on a holiday in the Scottish Highlands, but is dragged into a new cold case: an unsolved murder that shattered a family fourteen years ago.

An isolated community wary of outsiders.

Eyes follow Cal everywhere. And someone makes it very clear that they don’t want him snooping around…

How far will he go to find justice? And how far is far enough?

The second thrilling instalment in the Cal Lovett Files, perfect for fans of Helen Fields, Jane Casey and Claire Douglas.

Last year I read Unsolved, the first book to feature true crime podcaster, Cal Lovett. I’ve been looking forward to book two, Unburied, ever since.

Cal’s life has been defined by the disappearance of his older sister, Margot, when he was nine. Decades have passed and as the book begins, it seems like there might finally be some progress in finding out what happened to her. Taking himself away from all that’s going on in the investigation, he goes to the Scottish Highlands and a new cold case for his podcast practically jumps in his lap, that of a mother murdered on her doorstep.

It was great to catch up with Cal again. I always wish for a short recap of previous events when I start a new book in a series, but it pretty much all came back to me as Heather Critchlow managed to remind me of what happened in the first book without giving too much detail, making it a good standalone read for anyone who hasn’t read the first book (although I do highly recommend starting with Unsolved).

The small village feel is present in spades. Whilst a few people are welcoming to Cal, many look at him with suspicion and there’s always a sense of not knowing who might be on his side and who might not. It’s fair to say Cal’s stay in the village is a bit of a rollercoaster ride and I was surprised by the conclusion.

Unburied is a really engaging and fast-paced crime story. There’s not as much podcasting in this one I don’t think, with more focus on Margot and on Cal’s enquiries, but it was a really excellent read with great characters and skilled plotting. I’m hoping for more of Cal and justice for Margot…please!

Heather Critchlow grew up in rural Aberdeenshire and trained as a business journalist after studying history and social science at the University of Cambridge. Her short stories have appeared in crime fiction anthologies Afraid of the LightAfraid of the Christmas Lights and Afraid of the Shadows. She lives in St Albans.

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