The Rotting Spot
(A Bruce and Bennett mystery)
‘A darkly intriguing debut.’ Val McDermid.
Someone’s getting away with murder… and they’ll do anything to keep it that way.
The skull hunter’s rotting spot hides a secret, while the families on the sea-lashed Northumbrian headland hide several more.
When Lucy Seaton goes missing, her friend Erica Bruce is convinced there’s a link to the disappearance of Lucy’s cousin years before.
At first, Inspector Will Bennett is sceptical of Erica’s homeopathic symbols and love of William Blake’s prophecies, so she begins her own investigation, contending with Lucy’s steely mother and religious aunt - and the doubtful assistance of excess-loving Stacey.
‘Valerie Laws is a fresh and talented new voice in crime-writing. The Rotting Spot takes the established form of the rural detective novel, but brings it bang up to date. Here we have practitioners of complementary medicine and a binge-drinking pregnant young Geordie; we consider the relationship between women and food and the delights of skull collecting. And all within the framework of a well-structured plot.’ Ann Cleeves.
‘Opens with a bang…and interweaves a suspenseful story with graphic extracts from the Skull Hunter’s blog. As Erica crosses paths with DI Will Bennett, he of the blue, blue eyes, and skeletons rattle loudly in closets, Laws brings her locations vibrantly to life.’ Time Out London.
The Rotting Spot has won the Northern Writer’s Award, and been shortlisted for the McKitterick Prize.