Dead Lands is a thrilling crime story set in the 1970s. When a woman’s body is found a special team is called in to investigate and prime suspect Alexander Troy is arrested for the murder. Desperate to remain a free man, Troy protests his innocence, but refuses to use his alibi. Trying to protect the woman he loves becomes a dangerous game – questions are asked and suspicions deepen. When the prime suspect completes a daring escape from custody, DI Breck and DS Kearns begin the hunt. Breck wants out of the force while Kearns has her own agenda and seeks revenge. Breck has his suspicions and she wants to keep it from him, and a right-wing march provides an explosive backdrop to their hunt for Troy. Dead Lands is the thrilling debut of award winning short story writer Lloyd Otis, and intelligently covers issues of race, discrimination and violence in a changing 70s landscape.
I would like to thank the author and blog tour organiser Abby Fairbrother for the ARC copy of the book in return for an honest review.
Lloyd Otis’s book is brimming with the atmosphere of 70s Britain. It’s a good old fashioned police investigation story and that’s what I liked about it. No fancy thrills, good edge of the seat stuff, with believable characters.
DI Breck is a good solid policeman, with a flawed home life and possibly a secret hidden somewhere, who works to solve the murder of two women, though he is hampered by those around him who are working to an alternative agenda. Throughout the novel, I felt myself not really trusting any of the characters to be who they were, including Beck and that made the novel edgy and exciting. The writer keeps you guessing right to the end of the book. He teases you with threads of the story, but doesn’t show his hand until the end and that is what any reader wants, to be excited and made to turn those pages.
The best bit of the novel for me is the way the atmosphere of the 70s is brought to life. Dead Lands felt very reminiscent of the hit TV show Life on Mars. That era when policeman thought nothing of hitting a witness or locking someone up to protect those deemed to be too high profile to be prosecuted . You can feel yourself falling back into that era and its fabulous.
If your looking for a good old fashioned Police thriller, then Dead Lands is for you.
Lloyd was born in London and attained a BA (Hons) in Media and Communication. After gaining several years of valuable experience within the finance and digital sectors, he completed a course in journalism. Lloyd has interviewed a host of bestselling authors, such as Mark Billingham, Hugh Howey, Kerry Hudson, and Lawrence Block. Two of his short stories were selected for publication in the ‘Out of My Window’ anthology, and he currently works as an Editor.