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#BookReview of Long Time Dead by T.M. Payne

  24 Apr 2024 |    4 minutes  |   Paul Mitchell

Book cover of Long Time Dead by T.M. Payne

Title:  Long Time Dead
Author:  T.M. Payne
Date Published:  1 Apr, 2024
Genre:  Police Procedural
Publisher:  Thomas & Mercer
ISBN:  978-1662511301
Series:  Detective Sheridan Holler #1
Pages:  393
Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐


A cold case that’s no longer cold. A suspect who’s been murdered. A silenced witness.

(Blurb for Long Time dead from GoodReads) DI Sheridan Holler is used to solving crimes on Liverpool’s streets, but after a decayed corpse turns up in a cemetery, she finds herself reopening not one but two cold cases. Seven years earlier, two women were gunned down and the only suspect, small-time drug dealer John Lively, was never seen again. Case closed. Until the body in the cemetery is identified as his.

Holler needs to work out if Lively was killed out of revenge, or was just a victim of the criminal world he inhabited. When shocking evidence is revealed about the murder weapon, Holler’s cold case starts to look hopeless once more.

But defeat is not an option. Driven by the unsolved and traumatic murder of her brother when they were children, DI Holler’s pursuit of justice is relentless. As old wounds are reopened, the police close in on the killer, but the threat of them striking again is all too real. Can DI Holler put the pieces of the puzzle together before anyone else winds up dead?

My Review

I picked up Long Time Dead as part of Amazon First Reads, a subscription perk for Prime members. Every month members can choose one free book from a selection of specially curated titles before they are officially released. I was drawn to this book by its captivating cover and intriguing summary, and I’m glad to say that it did not disappoint.

The story begins when two women are gunned down in a supermarket car park by a motorcyclist. One of these is a policewoman who is killed instantly, and the other is an innocent bystander who survives but suffers a severe brain injury. Seven years later a body is found in a cemetery buried above another grave.

“As you’re all aware yesterday the partially clothed remains of what we believed to be a male victim was found in Bordersfield Cemetery. The body was buried approximately three feet under the earth, so, basically three feet above the coffin of a female called Heather Walters who died on the first of December 1997”

DI Sheridan Holler is assigned the task of identifying the identity of the body found in a cemetery. It soon becomes apparent that the dead man John Lively was the main suspect in the shooting seven years ago. It was believed that Lively fled after the incident, but it seems that he never left.

Meanwhile, Joni Summers is working as a caregiver at The Gables Nursing Home. One of her patients is Ellie Sands, the lady who was caught in the crossfire and suffered a brain injury. Ellie doesn’t make much sense when she speaks but Joni is determined to try and communicate with her in the best possible way.

Long Time Dead is an enthralling police procedural story where things are not always as they seem. The original case against Lively seemed strong with physical evidence indicating his presence at the crime scene. However, the discovery of Lively’s body has put this into doubt. Also, was Ellie Sands just an innocent bystander who was caught in the crossfire?

There’s also a bit of a backstory surrounding Sheridan Holler. Her brother was murdered when they were both children and his case has remained unsolved. It’s a bit of a personal crusade for her, and her parents who have high expectations that she will bring her brother’s killer to justice.

Final Thoughts

Would I recommend Long Time Dead? Most certainly, this is a great start to a new series. If you like police procedurals, this is a great story with a few twists and turns that keep us on our toes right up to the thrilling end.

I’m eagerly looking forward to reading more DI Sheridan Holler stories in the future.


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