Review: Skeletons in the Closet (Detective Mike Nash #15) by Bill Kitson


Print Length: TBD
Publisher: Joffe Books (October 12, 2022)


Detective Mike Nash thought that moving back to Yorkshire from London would give him a quieter life. Little did he know . . .

The body of a woman tied to a chair is found in a crumbling old cottage in the Yorkshire moors. She’s been dead a long time.

Detective Mike Nash investigates and soon uncovers a second body. Trapped in the well in the garden.

Then Nash’s team makes an even more grisly discovery. How many more skeletons are hidden in this tumbledown old cottage?

The suspicious death of the solicitor dealing with the property turns this cold-case investigation into an active hunt for a murderer.

Someone is killing to keep their secrets from coming to light. Detective Mike Nash must track them down before they kill again.


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

I understand that I will likely be in the minority when it comes to this one, but as a reviewer, I also know that this happens to everyone now and then. 

First off, the writing style is just not for me. I get that that is most certainly a problem with myself as a reader, but I know I'm probably not the only one who becomes annoyed when you're following along in a case, and the author says things like, "It would be another twenty-four hours before they learned the reason" or "It was not long before this proved to be one of the worst examples of inciting Sod's Law." For me, it doesn't make the book more exciting, it simply makes me roll my eyes and wish they would just get on with it instead of dragging things out even longer. 

The second issue I had (this one to a lesser extent) was how everyone and their uncle did not want to help the police with their murder investigation. Perhaps, laws in the UK are different, but I've read other novels set there where people in a position to help weren't so uptight as the ones here. Which led me to wonder why couldn't the police simply obtain a warrant to gain access to the information they needed? Of course, there was one scene where a bank manager straight up said he wouldn't reveal information without a warrant, but that he had never heard of one being granted makes me wonder just how hard it is over there for the police to obtain one when solving a murder investigation. 

Finally, and this was probably my biggest pet peeve about this novel, was Mike Nash himself. It wasn't the fact that he was forever having "hunches" at or about the crime scene leading him to find clues that other people were unable to. It wasn't the ungodly amount of coffee that he drinks. Seriously, if I read, "this will take awhile, let's have coffee," or some variation of that sentence one more time, I might have screamed. I also found it very convenient that all of these officers seemed to be able to stop whatever they were doing and eat, even going so far as to do so at an active crime scene. Heck, it wasn't even the fact that when his wife witnessed an accident (and could have been hit), Nash went out of his way to keep her from speaking to the officer in charge of investigating said accident. No instead, he bundled her off home, claiming she was in shock and told his boss the next day that his wife was "out of bounds" to the officer wanting to interview her to find out what happened in regards to the accident she witnessed. What kind of cop impedes the investigation of another officer? 

But no, my biggest issue with so-called Detective Nash was that fact that throughout the book, he designates all of his subordinates to go out and conduct interviews or gather clues (while seemingly doing nothing himself); except the one time that he seems to have a breakthrough while at home. In this one instance, why didn't he call the station and get someone on it straight away? No, instead, he sat on it until the next day so he could ensure that his wife was okay when it was obvious to anyone with a pair of eyes that she was fine and didn't need him hovering around her. 

The premise of this novel was actually a good one. And I was surprised at how things played out and who the killers actually were. I didn't even mind how slow it was because I assume that actual police work is a lot more tedious than usually portrayed, and I felt this book did a good job at showing that, even if it did make for slow reading at times. However, I doubt I would read more from this series with all the issues mentioned above. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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