The Calling of the Grave, by Simon Beckett, Bantam, RRP£12.99, 336 pages

The shadow of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley inevitably falls over Beckett’s novel, which starts with one of three teenage victims unearthed on a Devon moor, and the net closing on rapist and murderer Jerome Monk.

However, soon fact and fiction diverge. Monk escapes jail, apparently targeting members of the original investigation. Eight years have passed, and forensics expert David Hunter returns to the moor, where he must make sense of what happened. Uncovering a coincidence, he realises someone else is implicated.

As bone-chillingly bleak as its subject and leavened with some graveyard humour, this procedural doesn’t disappoint.

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