The Silent Quarry (DI Winter Meadows #1), by Cheryl Rees-Price

The Silent Quarry by Cheryl Rees-Price

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I became aware of “The Silent Quarry” by Cheryl Rees-Price through the review of my Goodreads friend Barry. If Barry rates a mystery, police procedural or thriller highly, chances are high I’m also going to enjoy it.

I was intrigued by the novel’s premise of a woman, Gwen Thomas, who survived a brutal attack as a teenager that killed her friend, but lost her memory of the event. When she starts to remember what happened, she becomes a target again. Tempted by Barry and having been looking for the next good read, I basically pounced upon it and finished it in a few hours as it’s a bit on the short side of novels.

I immediately related to DI Winter Meadows, a perceptive but reclusive detective (my wife calls me a hermit…), who tries to find the identity of the attacker before it’s too late. Beyond Meadows’ professional interest he’s further motivated by his teenage-crush on Gwen and the mutual metaphorical sparks are still flying between the two of them…

I really liked Meadows because he’s empathic and kind. He’s an interesting character with a lot of (as of yet mostly hidden) depth. I also liked his interactions with his colleagues and the locals. He has a good sense of humour and a sharp mind. His casual weed consumption put a big (and, of course, entirely innocent!) grin on my face.

»He plucked a book from the shelf and opened it. The inside was hollow and held a small bag of cannabis, a grinder, tobacco, and extra-long rolling papers. He rolled a joint, plonked himself down in the armchair, and lit up.«

I also enjoyed how compassionately, fairly and understandingly Meadows treated Edris. He saw Edris’ potential and gave him a chance to prove himself which the latter immediately proved worthy of.

Gwen Thomas was also a very interesting character: Rees-Price’s depiction of Gwen felt very authentic and disarmingly honest. Gwen is disgusted with her marriage, her jerk of a cheating husband and yet she does all she can to help. Even if it puts her in danger and potentially comes at great cost to herself. I admired her courage and determination to face the truth.

There were quite a few twists that, I have to admit, I saw coming but still enjoyed – except for one that left me feeling sad…

Speaking of sad: There were a few rough edges; the interesting setting of Wales doesn’t really play a role at all. Apart from the names of the villages, this could have played anywhere rural. Apart from Edris, all of Meadows’ colleagues remain underdeveloped, indistinct and flat.

There also are a few loose ends: What is Carl Perkins going to do? What is Ariana going to do about Edris?

Nevertheless, this was an engaging, suspenseful, intelligent police procedural and certainly a good entrance into this series.

Four out of five stars.

Ceterum censeo Putin esse delendam

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