📖The Monument Murders (Book 4) By Rachel McLean

When a body is found draped over Swanage’s iconic Globe monument, DCI Lesley Clarke is called in. A message points to the motive: Go Home.

Is this a hate crime? Or something closer to home?

Lesley must find the killer before he or she strikes again, all while dealing with a mutiny in her team and political pressure from her boss.

At the same time, a local journalist has been investigating the death of Lesley’s predecessor – and claims to have key information. Wary of involving her team, Lesley brings in her old colleague Zoe Finch to help.

Will Lesley come out of this case with her reputation, her team, and her career intact?

I sort of got into a reading slump. I think I was reading so many spicy books back-to-back that I just needed a break from reading altogether. Plus, with Christmas approaching I have been able to share my festive spirit with everyone and not keep it locked inside like I do in September! So, there have been many more activities that I wouldn’t usually have.

This is the fourth book in the DCI Lesley Clark series and honestly, my imagination of what Lesley looks like changes with every additional book. It’s like my brain can’t put its finger on what she actually looks like. As each book represents a new murder case, I suppose it makes sense for her character image to change because I’m reading her tackling different scenarios.

There is a dual narrative in this book, the present case, and the investigation into DCI Mackie. Unlike the previous book, I felt that the latter was definitely heating up. There was a lot more fire under the cauldron that will only bubble over in time.

The present case involves victims being staged at, you guessed it, monuments! The case is interesting because there is an underlying suspicion of whether the case is racially motivated. Delving into that side of the investigation made for a curious read. Compared to some of the other books in this series, the murders didn’t seem as intense, but this is perhaps because there was more going on with the book itself, which made the plot not solely reliable on the murders.

While the climax of the murderers reveal was adrenaline pumping, I found myself leaning more into the investigation into Mackie and the exploration of characters rather than having the murderer reveal charge the read.

We also get briefly introduced to Petra who is a criminal profiler/psychologist, who is sent down from Scotland to advise on the case. Honestly, Petra felt more like a set up than anything else. I didn’t particularly think she brought anything to the table of the main story, but it does look like she’ll be more involved in the latter story further into the series.

I did think that this book opened up the characters a bit more. Dennis has been gruff throughout the series but here we got the sense that there was something else going on with his life. I got the sense that he was hiding more than the story let on. We also see something blossoming between Mike and Tina and also get to see Tina be a little more involved, which I think was needed to ensure her continuing presence in the group.

There is more of Lesley and Elsa in this book, but I felt at times it was just too choppy and tense for me to view it in any positive light. Whether their relationship works out or not seems to be based on a multitude of things and I’m not sure whether the relationship will be able to survive or not.

We also get a little bit of DI Zoe Finch as she comes down to Dorset. While it was nice to have this character included, as she already has her own series of books and didn’t offer much insight, I struggled to understand why she had been concluded.

Moving forward, it’s clear that the investigation into DCI Mackie’s death is going to move further into centre stage. This book highlighted the many avenues of possible theories and clues surrounding the suspicious circumstances of his death. It will be interesting to see how long his part of the plot stays secondary before it becomes an unwelcomed addition. I hope there is a book coming that focuses solely on this and resolves it.

I give this book: ✨✨✨✨✨

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