AFTERMATH is the eighteenth book in the George Hennessey/Somerled Yellich mystery series. All of the books follow a pattern. A minor character comes across a body, the police are called in, Detective Chief Inspector George Hennessey and Detective Sergeant Somerled Yellich are placed in charge of investigating the murder, and within days, the case is resolved. Turnbull begins each chapter with a time and date so the reader gets the impression that the pages reflect real time. Turnbull is unique in that Hennessey and Yellich are not pulled into other crimes; there are no distractions for the police on the case so there are no distractions for the reader either.
AFTERMATH begins with the discovery of skeletons in a deserted kitchen garden at Bromyards, an estate that has fallen into acute disrepair as the owner withdraws further and further away from the larger world. By the time Nicholas Housecarl dies at the age of ninety-five, he has reduced his world to a bedroom and a bathroom on an upper floor. When John Seers, Housecarls’ attorney, comes to assess the property, it seems clear that no one has been near the house in a long time, or so it seems, until he finds skeletons in the kitchen garden.
It doesn’t take long for the police to realize that they are confronting the work of a serial killer. Numerous bodies, in various states of decomposition, have been chained together. All have been gagged, all are naked, and all were alive at the moment when their wrists were chained to that of another human who arrived alive and died in the tangle of weeds. As the bodies are examined in the mortuary, something else becomes apparent – there is no means by which a cause of death can be determined.
Initially, the police can find no connection between the victims. They are of both genders and their ages vary widely. But when discovered, the connection is unique, It is not something I have come across in another series.
Peter Turnbull writes, unfailingly, books that will capture the reader. The main characters are likable, decent people, who could live next door. There is no overt violence; it all happens off page. Perhaps because of the number of books in the series, it isn’t necessary to read them is order. Just take one on the next visit to the library, and a fan will be born.