Thursday, 28 September 2017

The Body In The Marsh - Nick Louth


When a woman goes missing, it gets personal for DCI Craig Gillard. But he could never imagine what happens next.

Criminologist Martin Knight lives a gilded life and is a thorn in the side of the police. But then his wife Liz goes missing. There is no good explanation and no sign of Martin…

To make things worse, Liz is the ex-girlfriend of DCI Craig Gillard who is drawn into the investigation. Is it just a missing person or something worse? And what relevance do the events around the shocking Girl F case, so taken up by Knight, have to do with the present?

The truth is darker than you could ever have imagined.


The truth is definitely darker than you could imagine, especially in The Body In The Marsh by Nick Louth. The story starts with DCI Craig Gillard rescuing somebody after a fall up in the Lake District. As coincidences go it's a big one. Her name is Sam Phillips, she's about to start working as a PCSO in Gillard's area, and they're both about to get caught up on two of the local force's biggest cases.

Sam takes a missing person report about someone called Elizabeth Knight, who turns out to be Gillard's first love from 30 years ago. Nobody has seen her and everybody is worried, apart from her husband, the esteemed criminologist Professor Martin Knight who is involved in the case of Girl F, also involving Gillard's station. The case takes an even stranger turn when Professor Knight also goes missing and suddenly everybody is involved and Gillard is heartbroken. He is convinced this is an admission of guilt on Martin Knight's part and sure enough, irrefutable evidence turns up all leading to one conclusion. Elizabeth Knight is dead, murdered most likely by her husband.

The Body In The Marsh is a rollercoaster ride from here on out and nobody is quite sure just how this has happened. Professor Knight has had a string of affairs and emails are found leading police to believe that he was planning to run off with one particular woman, having inherited a significant amount of money. Friends of Liz are convinced that she was being abused by her husband and that's what lead to her brief stay in a mental health unit. The Knight's children are none the wiser, one a solicitor and the other a student both appear to be clueless on the surface but a birthday card from France might indicate otherwise. 

Nothing is as it seems in this case and when evidence points to a link with the infamous Girl F case, which Professor Knight viciously condemned, things appear to be pointing in another direction, or are they? Nobody is quite sure what to do next but trips to France, Spain, the Kent coast, and the fact that the allow the Knight family to hold a funeral for Liz would suggest that the case has gone cold and might never be solved. 

The Body In The Marsh is a fantastic police thriller, well-written, fast-paced, and featuring some wonderful characters. I particularly loved DS Claire Mulholland, Gillard's deputy, who was portrayed as perhaps the most realistic policewoman I've come across, with a family, grandchildren, and definitely not romantically interested in her boss. Gillard was a little peculiar to me though, still pining after a woman 30 years later struck me as a little obsessive and allowing it to impact on all his romantic relationships was nothing short of foolishness. I can pretty much guarantee he is seeing his brief involvement with Liz through very rose-tinted glasses and allowing it to cloud his judgment of the Liz of today. I also loved the touches of humor which broke up the seriousness of both cases under the spotlight, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, in my opinion, should have featured more...

If you're looking for a thriller with a difference you can't go wrong with The Body In The Marsh. Its twists and turns will keep you up well beyond your bedtime. When you think you've got the culprit worked out the book will turn that upside down and thrown in a curveball for good measure. It was definitely worth losing a few hours sleep to find out who did it and what exactly happened. I've got 2 more of Nick Louth's books here to read so I'm hoping they're half as good as The Body In The Marsh.



The Body In The Marsh - Nick Louth
Publisher - Canelo
Release date - September 25th, 2017


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