Cover Image: The Drowning Isle

The Drowning Isle

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Member Reviews

Another Anglesey crime thriller featuring DI Laura Hart still harbouring suspicions about her husband’s death in previous episodes is a background feature of the investigation into the disappearance and murder of a young island resident. With lots of suspects and twists and turns on virtually every page the tragic events multiply towards the finale but the seeming resolution is a mere smokescreen for the shocking truth. And just to top it all off there’s an ending with a massive what happens next moment! Hope the next one is soon.

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4 Stars from me

I rarely do this but I've jumped into The Anglesey Crime thriller Series at book 4 and while this is often a risk I truly felt that the book reads well as a standalone with no prior knowledge of the characters. Don't get me wrong, I am sure it is better to read from book 1 onwards but it worked just fine on its own. Having said that, I have read a previous book by this author so I knew I was in safe hands.

I'm in awe of the lead detective DI Laura Hart if only for her love of cold water swimming! As refreshing and exhilarating as she made it sound I swear I felt colder each time she did it!

That said, she made for a great character to follow and the police team in general felt very well rounded and clearly defined.

The main story focuses on a missing teenager and has some nice touches in relation to the difficulties of navigating life with teenagers - especially in a close knit community.

There were other story threads woven throughout the main tale which the author juggled well without too and kept interesting without detracting from the investigation into the missing boy and all the the revelations that unfold them.

Overall, this is a great police procedural with some cleverly placed plot twists and a few loose ends ready for the next book in the series.

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Book 4 in The Anglesey Crime thriller Series and the pace continues. As always it helps to have read the series in sequence but it reads well as a stand-alone. In fact it’s another cracking read and one I finished in a day. This time 4 teenagers go camping on Llanddwyn Island, off the coast of Anglesey, but one of them, Callum, goes missing.

Briefly, DI Laura Hart’s morning routine is a cold water swim at Beaumaris beach no matter the weather. It is only a few weeks since her daughter had been kidnapped and buried alive and the family is still recovering. She is also still shocked about the latest revelations concerning her husbands death. When a body is found Laura is handed the investigation into Callum’s death and it comes to light that he was the son of a colleague of DI Gareth Williams, whose own son was also on the trip. Although there are a number of suspects there is no clear evidence against any of them. Then another body is discovered…

This author writes a great police procedural; I love Laura and her team and it’s great to follow their private lives along with the criminal investigations. Secrets with shocking revelations for both Laura and Williams, and for me! I love a good police procedural and this is better than good - well paced with a brilliant storyline that is both emotional and entertaining. Great read with a cliffhanger that has me champing at the bit for the next book.

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This is the latest instalment of the Anglesey Crime Thrillers. 4 boys go camping and one goes missing. We follow Laura Gareth and Declan as they try to find the missing teenager. Along with the search we explore the lives of the police and the family's involved. Its another fast paced story from Simon McCleave where we delve a bit more into the past of Laura. The characters are as believable as ever and the writing is spot on. A totally unexpected ending and makes waiting for the next instalment interminable. Thoroughly enjoyable and I would recommend this book to all police procedural enthusiasts.

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I have read all of Simon McCleave's books and this one was up their with the best.
There is a few things going on in book Laura is trying to deal with her past whilst also in a relationship with Gareth. There is a murder to solve who happens to be a friend of Declans son, drink & drugs are involved and it all gets a little messy. The research and knowledge that has gone into book is brilliant. Really enjoyed it and will be waiting on next. Thanks for advanced copy.

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384 pages

4 stars

This book runs the gamut of emotions in the reader. We have everything here. There are drugs, murders, domestic abusers, thieves, “story” tellers, corrupt cops, a local cult and a little romance.

The plot is somewhat complicated in the number of suspects when eighteen-year old Callum goes missing. Days after the police investigation starts, Callum’s body is found. He has been murdered. Now the real search begins for the killer.

There are connections between the police officers and Callum’s parents. Friends since childhood. This muddies the water somewhat.

The cops go from suspect to suspect and feel they finally have their killer. But, do they?

This book is a great read. It follows the investigation closely and at every turn. If you like police procedurals, this book may well be for you. It is well written and plotted. The characters are well fleshed out and believable. I felt like I was traversing along with the police as they investigated.

I want to thank NetGalley and Avon Books UK/Avon for forwarding to me a copy of this very good book so that I may read, enjoy and review it. THe opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

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I can’t say this was my favourite Simon McCleave book as I found it a little slow but oh my what an end , I can’t wait for the next one now.

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Love all of Simon McCleave’s books and was really looking forward to reading this. It didn’t disappoint. I’m getting to really like the main character Laura Hart the further we get into the series.
This book starts with 4 teenage boys heading off for a camping trip, after taking magic mushrooms one of them goes missing. The Police are called into find him and the investigation grows from there.
Well plotted and cleverly wrapped up.

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The Drowning Isle by Simon McCleave is a really excellent police procedural thriller set on the wind-swept shores of Yyns Mons, Anglesey. A story that fills the pages with emotional and heartbreak for the close-knit Anglesey police community.

When four teenagers go camping to celebrate an eighteenth birthday, only three return from beach after a drug and alcohol fuelled session. It's up to Laura and her team to find the missing teenager and find out what really happened that fateful afternoon.

I've never read any of Simon's books before this one. As this was the third part of the mystery series, I was slightly apprehensive that I would struggle to pick up the story line. No worries on that score, the story is recapped in the appropriate places without being an intrusion into the tension. Quite a nice trick Mr McCleave. The back story involving police corruption will make me want to read the previous books as well as look out for new installments in the future.

The story telling is excellent, the pace of the book just right. Devoured during a couple of nights reading (I didn't want to stop), this is a police thriller at the top of the class. The story and suspects seesaw throughout the book. The final few chapters make grim reading. Not for the quality of the writing but the way the story pans out.

At the very end I turned the page expecting another chapter to draw the story to a close, but no the author drops an almighty cliffhanger that will leave me frustrated all year waiting for th conclusion. Nice work Simon and a fitting end to one of the best police procedurals I've read so far this year.

Five towers all the way through. A brilliant and highly entertaining read.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review "The Drowning Isle", the latest in the Anglesey series featuring DCI Gareth Williams and DI Laura Hart.
At its core this is a murder mystery: when the body of young Callum - out on an eighteenth birthday celebration with his closest friends (and high on mushrooms) - is found on a deserted beach, the clues are few and far between.
All they have to go on are fuzzy recollections from his friends, including the son of one of the investigating officers, who also happens to be very close with the dead boy's mother, a spot of blood on his shoe and some blood on his teeth (did he bite his attacker?)
There's no love lost between the boy and his father, who spends his time drinking in the local pub; he's also been loosely associated with a local pagan group - The Fair Men; and it appears that he might have been involved in selling drugs.... the clues are all there for Gareth and Laura to unravel, but there are layers of secrets and misdirection.
In the meantime, Laura has grown to fear that her co-investigator in her husband's death and the uncovering of corruption in the police force might be deeper involved, and not in a good way; so she goes to an investigative reporter with her fears, as well as her partner and boss, DCI Williams.
The main mystery holds sway throughout the book, with the clues gradually leading to a totally unforeseen conclusion - but there are more deaths along the way! And Laura finds herself in an extremely precarious situation.
Highly recommended. Could be read as a standalone, but there's a lot of history there from the previous three books.

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Four teenage boys go camping to celebrate their graduation. Only three will return. There is evidence that Callum, the missing boy, has been kidnapped so DI Laura Hart and the Beaumaris force carry out a thorough search. The boy’s body is found washed ashore. He had been strangled. Why? His family is dysfunctional, his father an alcoholic and his mother and sister hiding secrets of their own. Callum has often taken refuge with The Fair Men, a local pagan group. While Callum’s friends grieve and Laura and her fiancé DI Gareth Williams search for clues, there is another death that turns the investigation in a new direction.

The Drowning Isle is set in atmospheric Northwest Wales with many references to Welsh history and legend. The talented Simon McCleave delivers police procedural at its best! The plot is compelling and suspenseful with an ending that leaves you breathless and ready to order the next in this series. Don’t miss this thriller! 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Avon Books UK and Simon McCleave for this ARC.

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The research Simon has done for this book is fantastic. Not only have I read a masterpiece in a suspense police mystery thriller but umpteen stories in one.
An " English" friend of mine has had a cottage in beaumorris for years and I enjoy sharing info I have gleaned from this series with them which they are unaware of and I have spent a long week there so can picture the area when I was reading. this book
The twists turns and continual thread from book 1 and Pete turning up like a bad penny is reverting I did have my suspicions of who the killer was and for once I was right but I was still guessing right till it came out as I usually am wrong.
I hope I don't have to wait too long for the next book after the ending leaving it with me biting my nails down to the quick.
I would love to see this series of books made into a tv series as they have been as good as anything Jed has put in the screen.

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Wow, I really loved this book and had great trouble putting it down. It started off with a camping trip that went wrong, and ended up with one of the teenagers being murdered. The storyline then took off at a great pace exploring all the potential suspects, lead by Gareth and Laura which was brought to a climactic conclusion. Along side the case there is a continuing storyline about the murder of Laura’s previous husband Sam which also took a dramatic twist. I cannot wait for the next book. I will be first in the queue to order it!

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I always love reading a Wales based book so this added to me being immersed innthe book and the sense of familiarity for me. The twists and turns kept me hooked too.

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A great atmospheric mystery revolving around a camping trip for 3 friends on the cusp of adulthood ending in disaster. DI Laura Hart is brought it to investigate and uncovers ties with drugs, crime and a cult. As she tries to unravel the complicated story she is also dealing with learning new information in regards to the death of her
husband! .
Well plotted, engaging and satisfying for anyone enjoying a procedural. Bonus points for beautiful and isolated scenery and the inclusion of some crime mainstays such as cults and drug trafficking without it seeming forced. #Avon books #TheDrowningIsle #simonmccleave

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Four teenagers head out to a mysterious and remote island off the coast of Anglesey to celebrate their 18th birthdays together, in what is effectively a kind of coming of age process. Or is there something more sinister being planned here?

Because when Callum and his three friends go for a celebratory camping trip on Llanddwyn Island, nobody expects one of the boys to end up 6 feet under. But this is a place that holds its secrets close, not least as its location as the site of pagan ceremonies held by a secretive group known as The Fair Men.

After Callum disappears during the trip, his friends show up on the mainland looking disoriented and appearing panicked, and a search is soon underway. After the teenager is discovered to be dead an investigation ensues and DI Laura Hart is brought into find out what actually happened.

Because there are so many questions that remain. Was Callum's death caused by one - or perhaps, more than one - of his friends? Were there undercurrents in the boys' friendship that could explain how something went wrong on the trip?

Or does the explanation lie in an entirely different direction - involving a more straightforward cause such as protecting the secrets of the Fair Men and their lair?

Hart will have to use all of her skills as a detective to find out, because as it turns out, there is nothing straightforward about this case...

McCleave's strengths as a writer are well displayed in this book, and he has delivered a gripping story with some unexpected twists. This novel is for those who enjoy a good police procedural and a gripping story line.

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