Where the Innocent Die (D I Ridpath) by M J Lee

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Where the Innocent Die (D I Ridpath) by M J Lee

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Book 4 of the series sees Ridpath investigating a death at an Immigrant Removal Centre. A good read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: March 2020
Publisher: Canelo
ISBN: 978-1788638029

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It was easy to assume that the death of the young Chinese girl at the Immigrant Removal Centre was suicide. Her throat was cut, there was a lot of blood and the knife was on the floor at the side of the bed, She was due to be deported that day. But... how did the knife get into the secure centre and why was the girl's room the only one which was unlocked? DI Thomas Ridpath, the coroner's officer, is sent to investigate and he quickly becomes suspicious, There's a snag though: the inquest is due to open in a couple of days' time, the girl's parents are coming over from China and they want to take their daughter's body home with them. Ridpath has just five days to solve the case. The coroner is disinclined to delay the inquest: for her, it's about giving closure to the parents.

It's book four in the series but it reads perfectly well as a standalone. If you've read earlier books in the series you'll know that Ridpath had been off sick (with cancer) from Manchester's Major Incident Team, but, on his return, he was seconded to the coroner's office, just to be certain that he really was healthy, naturally. He surprised himself by finding the work interesting and rewarding - and he and his wife, Polly, both liked the fact that he had regular hours. Well, he had regular hours most of the time, but Ridpath was never one to allow justice not to be served for the sake of putting in a bit of extra time.

I was pretty certain that I knew who the murderer was and I was proved correct, but I was working on instinct (there are people you just dislike on principle) rather than reasoning and that's not good enough in a court of law. It's interesting to see the differences between the coroner's court and a criminal court and M J Lee makes a good job of distinguishing between the two and also of showing that the coroner is there to defend the deceased rather than to establish who committed a particular crime.

The characterisation is good - although I did get a little tired of the curly grey hair of Mrs Challoner, the coroner. There's a good mix of rivalries, friendships and downright enmity within the police force and the coroner's office and it was interesting to watch the interactions: they had a lifelike feel to them. It was good, too, to see how immigrants are regarded and treated and there was plenty of food for thought about the whole system.

It's a good read, with plenty of twists and turns and I'd like to thank the publishers for making a copy available to the Bookbag.

If you'd like to start from the beginning of the series, begin with Where the Truth Lies.

M J Lee's D I Ridpath Series in Chronological Order

Buy Where the Innocent Die (D I Ridpath) by M J Lee at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Where the Innocent Die (D I Ridpath) by M J Lee at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Where the Innocent Die (D I Ridpath) by M J Lee at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Where the Innocent Die (D I Ridpath) by M J Lee at Amazon.com.

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