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The Coffin Trail by Martin Edwards

The Coffin Trail (2004)

by Martin Edwards

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From Amazon:

Oxford historian and TV personality Daniel Kind and his new lover, Miranda, both want to escape to a new life. On impulse they buy Tarn Cottage in Brackdale, an idyllic valley in the Lake District. But though they hope to live the dream, the past has a way of catching up. When DCI Hannah Scarlett launches a cold case review into an old crime, Brackdale's skeletons start to rattle. Daniel and Hannah soon find themselves risking their lives as they search for a ruthless killer who is prepared to kill again to keep his secret.

My Thoughts:

The descriptions of the Lake District and the overall writing were enjoyable. However this was offset by the lack of character development. Also the relationships of the two main couples, and the coincidences were just irritating. The scene exposing the killer just wasn't realistic and I found myself having trouble caring about the story or the characters from that point on. It wasn't a terrible read, and it was the first book in the series...but there are so many better ones out there. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Daniel Kind and his new girlfriend have decided to leave their jobs and move to the country, to a country house that Daniel's childhood friend had lived in. Barrie, an autistic child, had been accused of the murder of a young woman whose body had been found on an old, archaeological sacrifice stone. Barrie could never be brought to trial because he had died that same night of the murder by falling down a ravine. Or was it more sinister?

Some lovely descriptive passages. One of my favorites was his homage to bookstores: He found it without difficulty, one of half a dozen small businesses grouped around a large yard. Most of the units produced and sold crafts of one sort or another: wall hangings decorated with Lakeland themes, pottery and wooden gifts, hand-made greetings cards, and teddy bears with large, beseeching eyes. The bookshop occupied a section of a converted mill, the rear of which overlooked a weir. Rain was rattling on the gravel and although Daniel ran from his car, his sweatshirt was soaked by the time he was inside. The rich aroma of Kenyan coffee blended with the smell of old books and he recognised the andante movement of Hanson’s Romantic Symphony coming from discreet speakers near the entrance. The front part of the lower floor was devoted to fiction and the rear to the café, which spilled out on to an elevated area of decking from which on a fine day customers could sit out and watch the beck rushing by.

Some reviewers have downgraded the book because they didn't like the characters. I'm not quite sure what they might think of Jim Thompson's or the Ripley books. I don't have that perspective. I don't need to like the characters, only to find them interesting. Here, they are intriguing. Admittedly, some of the coincidences were a bit unlikely, e.g., that DCI Hannah Scarlett should have been Daniel Kind's father's sergeant.

BTW, one of the joys of reading on a Kindle is the instant dictionary feature. I had no idea what a "beck" and a "weir" were. Respectively, they are "a brook, especially a swiftly running stream with steep banks" and "a low dam that is built across a river to raise the water level, divert the water, or control its flow." Both parochial northern England definitions. Nice words. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
This being my 2nd Lake District Mystery I did not know what to expect, I was extremely impressed. The Coffin Trail was I believe the first book in the series and it was not repetitive it could be a stand alone book. This was a new storyline with a new murder when Daniel Kind met Hannah and learned about his father. Still being a part of a series you had no trouble following or feeling confused because you went out of order. I can not wait to get more of the Lake District Mystery books. Wonderful!! ( )
  druidgirl | May 13, 2013 |
Martin Edwards: always a good read. This one's no exception. Very good at setting the place and the characters were all well rounded, if somewhat stereotypical. Would always read his books.

© Koplowitz 2011

( )
  Ant.Harrison | Apr 28, 2013 |
This book I enjoyed a bit more when I reread it but one has to be ready to wait until they are two thirds into the book or about page 175 for the murder investigation to begin. All the beginning is stage setting and getting to know the characters.

Daniel Kind has moved to the Lake District to get away from his hectic Oxford life and gets himself caught up in a ten year old murder. An old acquaintance was felt to be guilty since he was found dead near the site of a dead girls body. Daniel doesn't believe this old friend can be a murderer and he says at least twenty times as the early chapters repeat certain facts again and again.

That doesn't mean I won't read more of this series, I have started the second - The Cipher Garden. ( )
  Condorena | Apr 2, 2013 |
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Barrie could see the woman stretched out on top of the Sacrifice Stone. (Prologue)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159058208X, Paperback)

Oxford historian and TV personality Daniel Kind and his new lover, Miranda, both want to escape to a new life. On impulse they buy Tarn Cottage in Brackdale, an idyllic valley in the Lake District that Daniel knew as a boy, a place so remote that the dead had to be carried out over the peaks on pack animals along the ancient Coffin Trail. Tarn Cottage was once home to Barrie Gilpin, an autistic youth suspected of a savage murder. A young woman visitor to the valley had been found laid out on the Sacrifice Stone, an ancient pagan site up on the fell. Barrie fell to his death near the crime scene before he could be questioned. All these years later, Daniel retains his belief in Barrie's innocence and questions his own policeman father's handling of the case. When DCI Hannah Scarlett and her squad launch a cold case review, Brackdale's skeletons begin to rattle. The wild geography of the Lakes District plays against local literary references, all backdrop to the lives of villagers and outsiders drawn to this beautiful spot-but for what reasons? The Coffin Trail launches a new series by a master British hand.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:14 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Skeletons begin to rattle in Brackdale, an idyllic valley in the Lake District, when DCI Hannah Scarlett launchs a cold case review of the ritualistic killing of a young woman that happened years ago. Caught up in the investigation is Daniel Kind, who recently returned to Brackdale and whose father had handled the original case.… (more)

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