Saturday, August 12, 2023

Who Buries the Dead (Very Spoilerish)

 Who Buries the Dead (2015) by C. S. Harris (Candice Proctor); narrated by Davina Porter

I don't have a lot new to say about the story--if you would like a good, full review (with less spoilerish content), then please see my previous review from 2021: HERE

My main thoughts this time around are on Harris's tendency to kill off interesting characters--or to kill off people who could help Devlin discover the truth about his parentage or help him locate his missing mother. (If Harris kills off Hero in some future installment, I'll not forgive her.) As I said in the previous review, I would happily have given this installment five stars save for one thing. Her decision to kill off Jamie Knox really is one interesting character's demise too many. Harris has already killed off Russell Yates, the man who married and gave Sebastian's former lover Kat Boleyn protection from Lord Jarvis. Yates had a history of piracy and provided Sebastian with a source of information he would not normally have access to. She also has killed off a woman who knew Devlin's mother and might have been able to tell him more about her. And now we've decided to kill off Jamie Knox, the mysterious man who looked enough like Devlin to be his brother...and probably was (or at least half-brother). I had hoped we would eventually have a book that would explore that possibility more thoroughly and the interactions between the two would have been very good indeed in such an exploration. But now, if Devlin does wind up finding out the truth behind their similar looks, he will do so alone and I think the situation will be robbed of some of its impact. I can understand that we have a single hero in the novels--Devlin, but if Knox had died just after a momentous revelation of any sort, that would have been more powerful.

I was still very glad to see Devlin get a bit of redemption in the final scenes. In general, when the killers in these novels put anyone (beyond their initial, intended victims) in danger or Devlin's involvement in the investigation seems to focus the killer's sights on additional victims, Devlin is too late to save them. This time, he and Tom are able to mount an effective rescue of a woman and her son--who have been used by the killer as bait to trap Devlin. I also enjoyed that a way was found to deal out justice to Oliphant--of a type that seems particularly appropriate to the kind of man he is. I did want him to be the murderer...but this works just as well.

A very strong entry in the series and another excellent audio version narrated by Davina Porter.  ★★★★ and 1/2.

First line: They called it Bloody Bridge.

Last line: "I want you," he said his throat tight with emotion as a gust of wind shuddered the trees overhead and sent a scattering of leaves spinning down to lie pale and shriveled against the cold dark earth.


Deaths =  6 (two stabbed; one hit on head; two shot; one drowned)

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