The House in the Woods ~ by Mark Dawson

Not bad!  This latest one from Mark Dawson has a very twisted plot after you get into it but the characters are nicely developed and the story is supposed to be the first of a series.  On two fronts it ends like it definitely is the first of a series, but there’s only the one out so far.  (And the actual plot was tied up nicely.)  I chose to read it because it kinda-sorta sounded Christmasy, but it’s not – at all really.  

The House in the Woods 
by Mark Dawson 
2020 / Audible
Read by Simon Vance 9h 57m

Rating: B- / crime
(Atticus Priest series #1 – but there are no more on offer)

Atticus Priest is the new PI protagonist who assists whomever hires him – in this case Ralph Mallender, the defendant who has been arrested because although the shooting he reported took place inside a locked house, his actions and interests definitely look suspicious.  

From the publisher: 
On Christmas Eve, Detective Chief Inspector Mackenzie Jones is called to a shooting at a remote farmhouse. Ralph Mallender believes his father lies dead inside. When three more bodies are discovered, it’s clear a festive family gathering has turned into a gruesome tragedy. 

At first it seems like an open-and-shut case: a murder suicide committed by Ralph’s volatile brother Cameron. Then new evidence makes Mack suspect the man who reported the crime is in fact the perpetrator. 

But Mack isn’t the only one with a stake in the case. Private investigator Atticus Priest has been hired to get Ralph acquitted. That means unearthing any weaknesses in Mack’s evidence.

Irascible, impatient, and unpredictable, Atticus has weaknesses of his own. Mack knows all about them because they share a past – both professionally and personally. This time round, however, they aren’t on the same side. And as Atticus picks at the loose ends of the case, everything starts to unravel in a way neither of them could ever have predicted….

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