EXCERPT: ‘ . . . There is one other thing. We’ve found another crashed car this morning. Further along the road from the collapsed wall. And well down the bank, hidden from the road. A dog walker found it.’
‘What?’ Nell’s mind reeled. ‘Was it a classic BMW?’
‘Er . . . yes -‘
‘Where? Exactly?’ Nell headed for the Land Rover.
‘Just before the junction.’
‘Have you called the police?’
‘Yes, apparently they’re on their way.’
‘Good. I am, too.’
‘But . . . it’s not just a car, Nell,’ Astrid said, her voice shaky. ‘Someone’s in it. You know. Dead.’
ABOUT ‘A MISCHIEF OF RATS’: When a driver dies during a glamourous classic car event at her family’s estate, Dr Nell Ward is in a race against time to uncover the truth and prevent the killer from making a speedy getaway…
Back in her natural habitat, Dr Nell Ward heads to a woodland pond to survey local newt populations. She’s shocked to discover a car submerged in the water – with the driver dead behind the wheel.
Nell recognises the dead man as professional racing driver, and tabloid love rat, Jack Rafferty, whose performance on (and off) Finchmere’s racetrack had earned him enemies.
Suspecting this isn’t the tragic accident it appears DI James Clark calls upon Nell and her ecological skills to help find the murderer. But she soon finds that more lurks under the surface than she could ever have imagined. Despite the danger, Nell is determined to dredge up the truth from the murky depths of this case, before it’s too late…
MY THOUGHTS: I really enjoyed A Murder of Crows, but A Mischief of Rats, although I love the title, has failed to provide the same level of enjoyment.
I really thought I would enjoy this much more than I did, having a passion for motor racing and enjoying learning more ecological facts. I don’t feel that I learned anywhere near as much about newts as I did about bats. Even the motor racing aspect left me strangely unmoved. And there’s an awful lot of dialogue. Lots and lots of dialogue. Far too much.
Again there’s no shortage of suspects for the murders, but I felt the plot and motive were a bit thin on believability. Another thing that irritated me, and it’s mentioned more than once, is that it’s only two months since Nell last discovered bodies and was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Another thing that annoyed me was the cliffhanger ending. It was unnecessary and over the top. This book should have ended with the penultimate chapter.
A Mischief of Rats just didn’t draw me in. It was an okay read for me, no more. And the only rats in evidence are human ones.
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THE AUTHOR: After spending sixteen years as an ecologist, crawling through undergrowth and studying nocturnal habits of animals (and people), Dr Sarah Yarwood-Lovett naturally turned her mind to murder. She may have swapped badgers for bears when she emigrated from a quaint village in the South Downs to the wild mountains of the Pacific Northwest, but her books remain firmly rooted in the rolling downland she grew up in.
Forensically studying clues for animal activity has seen Sarah surveying sites all over the UK and around the world. She’s re-discovered a British species thought to be extinct during her PhD, with her record held in London’s Natural History Museum; debated that important question – do bats wee on their faces? – at school workshops; survived a hurricane on a coral atoll whilst scuba diving to conduct marine surveys; and given evidence as an expert witness.
Along the way, she’s discovered a noose in an abandoned warehouse and had a survey de-railed by the bomb squad. Her unusual career has provided the perfect inspiration for a series of murder mysteries with an ecological twist – so, these days, Sarah’s research includes consulting detectives, lawyers, judges and attending murder trials. (Amazon)
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Embla Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of A Mischief of Rats by Sarah Yarwood-Lovett for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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