*** FROM THE ACCLAIMED AUTHOR OF HELL BAY ***
DI Ben Kitto is missing the excitement of his old job in the Murder Squad, as the lazy Scilly Island summer begins. But when the body of professional diver Jude Trellon is found in Piper’s Hole, a sea cave on the island of Tresco, his investigative skills are needed again.
At first it seems that the young mother’s death was a tragic accident, but it soon emerges that Jude was choked to death. Her mysterious Swedish boyfriend Ivar Larsen seems terrified for her daughter’s safety, but refuses to talk. The islanders are guarded too – it seems plenty of people on the island had reason to harm her.
The island of Tresco, and the deep and murky waters that surround it, hold a dark secret. One that someone seems prepared to murder to keep hidden.
Also by Kate Rhodes
Author and poet, Kate Rhodes is one of my favourite writers. I always know that I am going to be in for a spectacular and beautiful journey. I loved her Alice Quentin series. I now am absolutely hooked on Ben Kitto and his life on a British small island. I had to read Ruin Beach, as soon as I could get my hands on it. Ruin Beach is the sequel to the marvellous Hell Bay. Great titles.
We first met Ben Kitto in Hell Bay. Ben was returning to the Scilly Isles, for a break. He was shaken by the death of his partner. He was burnt out. He embraced island life and hunted a killer. Ben returns in Ruin Beach. He has settled on Bryer with his pet dog and is a vital part of the community. He is the Deputy Commander of the Isles of Scilly Police. A body is found by Piper’s Hole. A feisty female professional diver has been murdered. Everyone on the island is a suspect. Why would anyone want to kill Jude Trellon? What secrets did Jude take to her grave?
Kate Rhodes strength is her characterisation and sense of place. We all feel like we understand Ben Kitto or at least are making more sense of him. Like Ann Cleeves has done with the Shetland series and Jimmy Perez, Kate Rhodes has brought the Isles of Scilly to life. I still would not be able to point to them on a map. Life can be rather complicated living life on an island. It isn’t idyllic. Islanders have to live with each other. They have to live with their resentments. They have to cope with no privacy. They cannot escape, easily.
Kate Rhodes’ lead man, Ben Kitto, is a dedicated police officer. We see his growing attraction to long term pal Zoe, the singer. We see his cute love for his dog. We see how he interacts with the islanders. He understands them. He is one of them. We know he is healing from the past. We know Kitto will find the killer, from amongst his friends and neighbours. Island life means the killer is somewhere hiding, in plain sight. We suspect everyone. Soon things are getting tougher for Kitto. Someone close to the murder victim goes missing. All it takes is one person on the island to reveal something important. Kitto is on alert.
Ruin Beach was really excellent. Murder. Small town life. Suspicion. Lovely Ben Kitto. Read all of Kate Rhodes’ books. You seriously cannot go wrong.