The Dead Can’t Talk – Nick Quantrill

TDCT - Final cover

Published on 12 May 2015 by Caffeine Nights and available here to buy.


How far will Anna Stone, a disillusioned police officer on the brink of leaving her job, go to uncover the truth about her sister’s disappearance?

Approached by Luke Carver, an ex-Army drifter she’s previously sent to prison, he claims to have information which will help her. As the trail leads from Hull and the Humber’s desperate and downtrodden to its great and good, an unsolved murder twenty-five years ago places their lives in danger, leaving Stone to decide if she can really trust a man who has his own reasons for helping.

Nick Quantrill guest post: Quantrill Talks: The Dead Can’t Talk – Writing Provincial Crime

My thoughts

Well well well.. Hot on the heels of David Mark and his Hull crime novel Dead Pretty, I’ve jumped into a bit more seriously gritty Hull noir. Hull is becoming a crime capital! The Dead Can’t Talk is the fourth book by Nick Quantrill. It looks to me like it could be the start of a fantastic series, with the pairing of Carver and Stone.

Luke Carver is ex-army and he’s struggling to make a life for himself, as a civilian. He was sent to prison thanks to the efforts of one police officer, Anna Stone. Stone is fed up with the police, after her journalist sister went missing and it was assumed she had committed suicide. She is deciding where her future lies. A sex worker was murdered twenty five years ago. Carver and Stone find themselves unlikely allies hunting for the truth, when a piece of evidence about the murder is handed to them.

We get a story of corruption, of secrets and lies, of an underclass of poverty and a backdrop of the less touristy side Hull. This is a seedy Hull; the desperate hidden side of a city, with its casual violence, sex workers and people living on the very edge. We get a real sense of how incredibly difficult it must for the less affluent residents. Luke Carver, as an ex-army man, is trying his best to get by and to make something of his life. He is stuck with a criminal record and limited choices, living in a grotty bedsit. He is incredibly well drawn and it was fascinating seeing the world from his perspective. Anna Stone is the exact opposite of Luke, wealthy enough to go travelling and see the world. She is a woman with a focus, determined to find out what happened to her sister.

This was really superb, told with a refreshing style and a beautiful dark edge. I found myself immensely enjoying the world of Carver and Stone in Hull. Mr Quantrill, you have a new fan!

About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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