Time for the review of my second book from January’s Reading List, The Shroud Maker by Kate Ellis. The Shroud Maker is the first book I’ve read by Kate Ellis, and I always like trying new authors.
The Shroud Maker by Kate Ellis
Blurb from the back cover
A grisly find…
A year on from the mysterious disappearance of Jenny Bercival, DI Wesley Peterson is called in when the body of a strangled woman is found floating out to sea in a dinghy. The discovery mars the festivities of the Palkin Festival, held each year to celebrate the life of John Palkin, a fourteenth-century mayor of Tradmouth who made his fortune from trade and piracy. And now it seems as if death and mystery have returned to haunt the town.
A faceless enemy…
Could there be a link between the two women? One missing, one brutally murdered? And is there a connection to the fantasy website Shipworld, which features Palkin as a supernatural hero with a sinister, faceless nemesis called the Shroud Maker?
Will history repeat itself?
When archaeologist Neil Watson makes a grim discovery on the site of Palkin’s warehouse, it looks as if history might have inspired the killer. And it is only by delving into the past that Wesley comes to learn the truth…a truth that will bring mortal danger in its wake.
My thoughts on the book
Overall, The Shroud Maker was a good read. Primarily, the story was about a murdered girl and a girl who has been missing for a couple of years. The investigating team soon make a connection between the two, but they need to prove it, and narrowing down the suspects is hard.
The investigation leads them to a fantasy website featuring the title character, The Shroud Maker. The story on the website closely relates to that of the murder they are investigating which leads them to delve a little deeper into the site.
There is then a sub plot that I found a little confusing and a little pointless if I’m honest. It tells the story of a man, Palkin, from a couple of hundred years ago who was famous in Tradmouth where the story takes place. It then also tells of a man who thought he was an ancestor, or was an ancestor and he sort of re-played his life. this part is told through snippets from history books and letters between the man’s wife and her sister.
The very loose connecting thread, other than the town seems to be an archaeologist who works for one of the suspects and is interested in the case of Palkin (the man from the sub plot). He also features on the website.
The sub plot is interesting to an extent, but as I say I found it confusing and I kept forgetting who was who. It also felt there was far too many co-incidences surrounding it all.
Conclusion and rating
As I mentioned above, I did lose track of who was who at times, but these characters were only bit players and didn’t have a massive bearing on the story, so I still had a decent grasp of what was happening. It could just be that I missed something early on which left me a bit lost.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and would probably try another Kate Ellis book. It moved along at a good pace and I wanted to know what was going to happen next all the way through.
I think this is one to read when you have a bit of quiet time so you can concentrate fully. 3/5
Have you read The Shroud Maker? Did you enjoy it? Did you get a bit lost or was that just me? Let me know in the comments 🙂