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Books Editorial

lordofthedead.jpg Lord of the Dead

Richard Rippon, Obliterate Press

The second novel from local author Richard Rippon begins with the mutilated body of a woman being discovered in Allendale, Northumberland. On the case are the local force who immediately draft in Jon Atherton to help them out. He lectures at Newcastle University but also does a spot of profiling on the side, which is handy as the police soon discover that they’ve got a serial killer on their hands who trades under the decidedly unsnappy name ‘Son of Geb’. The married with a young child Atherton isn’t exactly a shining beacon of sobriety however, and things are further complicated by the fact that heading up the case is Detective Sergeant Kate Prejean, who he’d previously had a fling with. Much of this will be very familiar to fans of the genre – bodies arranged to spell out a message of sorts, frisson between detectives, a baying press, someone occasionally announcing “There’s been another one…” – but Rippon keeps his foot on the gas to keep the story motoring along until it reaches its grand guignol conclusion.