On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on Grave’s End, the third book in William Shaw’s brilliant Alexandra Cupidi series.
A BIZARRE DISCOVERY
An unidentified corpse is found in a freezer in the garage of an unoccupied house. DS Alexandra Cupidi is handed a case that is made even colder by no-one seeming to know or care whose body it is.
A HISTORIC CRIME
It becomes clear there is a connection between the crime and a skeleton uncovered underneath a housing development of Trevor Grey, a boy who went missing twenty five years earlier.
A BURIED LIFE
Digging deep into secrets that have long been concealed brings Cupidi to face a deadly conspiracy to hide these crimes. Her investigation is complicated by a secret liaison, a political cover-up and the underground life of Trevor Grey’s only friend.
I’m a huge fan of William Shaw’s Alexandra Cupidi series, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get round to reading, Grave’s End. With the discovery of a body in a freezer, at a luxury house currently on the market, an intense, complex investigation ensues, steeped in the world of environmental activism and politics. It is a really immersive read.
There is an entirely unique narrative in Grave’s End. Parts of the novel are told from the point of view of a badger, and this is how the novel opens. I must admit, when I first heard that this book was told partly from the point of view of a badger, it did put me off slightly, but William Shaw has absolutely nailed it. Putting the reader firmly into the badger’s mind set, also reminds us that this isn’t just our world, and that we have to look out for those who can’t make their voices heard. The inclusion of the badger’s narrative added to the atmosphere of the book, and it pulled me into the setting even more.
What I do find interesting in this series, is Alex’s relationship with her daughter, Zoe. Zoe has become an environmentalist, following her introduction to bird watching earlier on in the series. It is also still interesting to see Alex’s friendship with her former work colleague, William South. I’m always interested to see how he is getting on. I think it’ll really help for you to read The Birdwatcher by William Shaw, if you haven’t yet read the Alexandra Cupidi series, as you will have more of an understanding of William’s character and what he has been through. His history is what makes him so fascinating.
The themes William Shaw explores in these books, such as environmental activism, really go well with the setting, and they add to the atmosphere and the tension in the novel.
I like Alex’s friendship with her colleague, Jill, in this book. Jill made me laugh a lot as I was reading the scenes when it’s the two of them talking, and the humour comes through so well in their dialogue. Jill is has been on a few tentative first dates, and this really made me interested in her character. I wanted to see how she was getting on, and I wanted her to find someone to be with. She comes across as a very down to earth character with her own set of problems, which I think a lot of readers can relate to.
William Shaw explores some very murky themes in this book. It is quite a complex read, and I liked how he pulled the different strands together, making things very clear as the final reveals came.
Grave’s End is a fantastic read, and I can’t wait to catch up with the character’s again in the next book.
Publication date: 14th May 2020
Print length: 480 pages
Grave’s End is available to buy: