📖The Fossil Beach Murders (Book 6) by Rachel McLean

The Susannah Ramsay and Sadie Dawes cases are solved and DCI Lesley Clarke’s team is back together.

But there are tensions. Is Dennis hiding more than just mental health problems? Did Superintendent Carpenter cover up the details of DCI Mackie’s death? And does Lesley’s girlfriend Elsa know more about Mackie than she’s letting on?

Just as Lesley feels she is getting closer to answers, she’s forced to work on the other side of Dorset after a body is uncovered by a landslide at Lyme Regis’s beach. Who is the body and is there a connection to DCI Mackie, Arthur Kelvin, and Elsa’s law firm?

Ok, so this is book 6 in the series and it’s the last book I’m able to read as book 7 doesn’t come out till 2023.

Coming into the book, I had A LOT of questions I wanted answers to, and I’ve been saying in my reviews for the last 3 books that I require concrete answers before I lose interest.

Did I get the answers I wanted? NO. Did I get some answers? Sort of. Here’s the thing. The main plot for this story was designed to link up with the secondary plot that has been active since the 2nd book in this series. It was a good shout to do because the secondary plot was gaining more traction and actually becoming more interesting than the main plot I was supposed to be focusing on. So, in that respect, the book did a great job.

However, I have talked about ‘drawing things out too far’. A classic example of this is the TV show “The Mentalist”, by the time they actually revealed who Red John was I was so over it that it just fell completely flat and uninspiring. I have read other crime book series where I’ve ended up falling completely out of love and dropping the series because the secondary plot has gone on with no end in sight.

I’m getting to that irritated stage now. It annoys me so much because this series of books is very good, and the characters are well developed. I hate to see a series slightly tank like this.

Enough ranting about what answers I didn’t get.

This book opens up more insight into the characters. We see Dennis, our stoic grumpy sarge dealing with mental health problems. We see the blossoming relationship between Tina and Mike grow. We see Stanley become a permanent member of the team. We see Lesley commit to Dorset and we see Elsa break away from unsavoury characters. The characters have come into their full. They always had the potential, but they needed to book series to grow and develop.

The murders in this book were at least more interesting than book 4! We got to see the team in a different setting, as Lesley had to travel to the new crime scene. It was also a chance to get to know Tina more as she travelled with Lesley. We were introduced to Tina’s mum and family, and it was interesting to see the dynamics of that family unit and how Tina behaved within it.

Once again, my imagination of Lesley has shifted. I wish my brain would just pick one vision of her! But hey, ho. This book uncovered a lot of elements that I think will be difficult to unravel as the series continues. Outside forces have been brought in and I think that will put the team on the defensive.

However, DCI Mackie did still die, and Arthur Kelvin is still a big problem. The former needs to be solved while the latter still needs to be dealt with and neither have come to an end yet.

I give this book: ✨✨✨✨

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