Why Join?

  • Add New Books

  • Write a Review

  • Backpack Reading Lists

  • Newsletter Updates

Join Now

Crime thriller set in Northumberland (plus top tips for a visit to the county)

16th March 2015

Monument to Murder by Mari Hannah, crime thriller set in Northumberland.

“The surf was pounding the shore, great white waves rolling further and further inland before being absorbed into the sand”

IMG_0415This is the fourth in the DCI Kate Daniels series, set this time along the coastal areas of north Northumberland, mainly Bamburgh, down to Low Newton-by-the-Sea and Alnwick.

Britain’s northerly and least populated county is in the grip of Winter, snow showers have forced the investigating team to set up an investigation room in a B & B in Alnwick, as they look into the discovery of the skeletons of two young females, buried within spitting distance of the imposing, fairy tale castle at Bamburgh, overlooked by Holy Island. At the time of burial, both girls had been dressed in specific clothing, and certain items are to become key to the investigation…. it almost seems like there is a devotional element in the way the bodies have been buried in the sand.

Meanwhile, over at HMP Northumberland Emily McCann is getting back to her work in the psychological services of the prison, having had time off to mourn the death of her husband Robert. At home her daughter Rachel has responded to her father’s death in a way that has caused her mother great concern – Rachel has closed down, become erratic and secretive, they just cannot communicate and be supportive to each other at this difficult time. At the prison, Emily is becoming increasingly alarmed by the behaviour of Walter Fearon, a prisoner who is due to be released, but who has pronounced psychopathic tendencies; his beady focus is on her. Will anyone take her seriously?

Kate’s team is hard pressed to make sense of the burials, Nominal 1 and Nominal 2 (we learn that only the media refer to older, unsolved cases as “cold cases”), but the team, under Kate’s direction, pulls together well. A couple of new members and old stalwarts all bring skills to the investigation. But Kate’s focus is not only on this investigation, she is also struggling with the unresolved ending of her personal relationship with Jo Soulsby (is the lingering flame sufficient to reignite the relationship?), and she is hard pressed to offer her friend Emily her support, who seems to be losing the plot. Kate is overwhelmed by the demands of her work, her frantic lifestyle as a DCI is palpable. The fast pace of developments and dead ends keep the reader engrossed as the story develops. Find out how the two storylines dovetail…. you can buy the book here or at your local bookshop.

You can follow Mari on Twitter (she often tweets about the wonders of Northumberland), and connect via her website. You can find all her books here.

Tina for the TripFiction Team. 

And do drop by and connect with Team TripFiction via social media: TwitterFacebook and Pinterest and when we have some interesting photos we can often be found over on Instagram too. For more novels set in North East England, click here.

You have now been to the county via fiction. Feeling inspired? We share a few of our personal tips for your actual trip to Northumberland: just hop on the train from King’s Cross, London, come down from Edinburgh, or fly in from Paris or Amsterdam, and in three hours you can be in this beautiful county :

Do visit Low Newton-by-the-Sea, a beautiful village on the coast, where Jo Soulsby has rented a cottage, a visit to the Ship Inn is a must!

Explore the Northumberland Coastal Route and enjoy some of the magnificent vistas from the many castles, including Bamburgh Castle.

Pop over to Holy Island – Lindisfarne for a memorable trip.

A visit to Cragside (especially when the rhododendrons are in flower in the Spring) makes for a great day out.

Take some time to spot the Chillingham cattle … and of course don’t forget a visit to Hadrian’s Wall “a truly special place”. And for further ideas, click here to access Visit Northumberland.





Subscribe to future blog posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. User: Tory Corner

    Posted on: 13/08/2016 at 3:16 pm

    For those interested in the area, practically all of Roy Lewis’ forty-plus mystery novels are set in Northumberland. He has been writing them for the past fifty years.


  2. User: aditi3991

    Posted on: 18/03/2015 at 8:00 am

    Sounds like a charming county! So much to explore, will have to check out the book. Excellent review 🙂