Allison & Busby, £14.99
Review Carly Hilts
Archaeological sleuths Clare Hills, David Barbrook, and Margaret Bockford return in Nicola Ford’s cleverly constructed crime novel, a sequel to The Hidden Bones (see CA 340). This latter book featured a research dig on a barrow cemetery, but its successor dives into the world of commercial archaeology.
Once again, Ford’s intrepid trio investigate mysterious deaths while the ancient past weaves like an intriguing but unsettling thread through the present. People they meet – from developers to druids – are wryly drawn, and short chapters written in a briskly conversational style keep pages turning and tension high.
Drawing on the author’s years of fieldwork experience (she is National Trust Archaeologist for the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site), her story is steeped in real-world archaeology. Characters casually discuss magnetometry surveys and transactions of antiquarian societies, Roman syncretism and radiocarbon dating, creating a world that many archaeologists will recognise (minus the grisly deaths, one hopes!).