The first instalment in a gripping and atmospheric crime series set on a small island where there is no escape . . .
‘Gripping, clever and impossible to put down' ERIN KELLY
DI Ben Kitto needs a second chance. After ten years working for the murder squad in London, a traumatic event has left him grief-stricken. He’s tried to resign from his job, but his boss has persuaded him to take three months to reconsider.
Ben plans to work in his uncle's boatyard on the tiny Scilly island of Bryher where he was born, hoping to mend his shattered nerves. His plans go awry when the body of a sixteen-year-old girl is found on the beach at Hell Bay. Her attacker must still be on the island because no ferries have sailed during the two-day storm.
Everyone on the island is under suspicion. Dark secrets are about to resurface. And the murderer could strike again at any time . . .
PRAISE FOR KATE RHODES:
‘Gripping, clever and impossible to put down. I’ve been a Kate Rhodes fan for years and in Ben Kitto she has created a detective who is just as complex and compelling as Kate’s elegant plotting and stunning prose. The claustrophobia and paranoia of the island are so brilliant evoked, I could almost feel the tide encroaching as time ran out to find the killer' ERIN KELLY
‘Absorbing and complex, Hell Bay kept me guessing until the final pages’ RACHEL ABBOTT
'A vividly realised protagonist whose complex and harrowing history rivals the central crime storyline' SOPHIE HANNAH
'Beautifully written and expertly plotted; this is a masterclass' GUARDIAN
'Expertly weaves a sense of place and character into a tense and intriguing story' METRO
'Rhodes does a superb job of balancing a portrayal of a tiny community oppressed by secrets with an uplifting evocation of setting' Jake Kerridge, SUNDAY EXPRESS
‘The whole book tingles with tension. I hope it does for the Scilly Isles what Ann Cleeves did for Shetland' MEL MCGRATH
'I love reading Kate's books in the way I love reading Sophie Hannah – a poet writing crime fiction is a great thing . . . It is at once a locked-room mystery, a story of the returning hero, and an examination of fear and abuse. It has the air of a twenty-first century Agatha Christie' JULIA CROUCH
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
English crime writer Kate Rhodes has been compared to Agatha Christie and Ruth Rendell. This taut and claustrophobic psychological thriller certainly backs up that claim. Set on an isolated island with only about 100 residents, the book follows DI Ben Kitto, who returns from leave to investigate the violent death of a teenage girl. The story’s tight-knit cast allows for sharp character studies. The plot unfolds at a thoughtful pace—nothing feels rushed or cheap, and the emotional payoff is top-notch.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Hell and back
This British author lives in Cambridge with her husband, also a writer. (A film-maker too.)
She used to be an English teacher and published two award winning poetry collections before turning her hand to crime fiction, both stand alone and detective series.
Hell Bay is the first in a new series based around DI Ben Kitto of the murder squad in London.
We meet our boy as he’s re-evaluating his career after traumatic events.
He heads back to the place he grew up, which is Bryher, one of the smallest of the inhabited Scilly Isles in the Atlantic ocean off Cornwall: a place frequently isolated by maritime conditions.
Wouldn’t you know it? A local teenager has just gone missing.
Ben finds the body on the beach beneath a cliff with a stab wound in her torso.
He volunteers his services to the local plod and solves the crime, but not before unearthing some metaphorical skeletons in local closets.
Nick Hornby once described Ann Tyler as “the best line and length novelist in the world,” a cricket reference likely to have been lost on Ms Tyler, who is a Baltimore native.
While this police procedural slash closed room mystery—closed island really—breaks no new literary ground, it is line and length genre writing of the highest quality.
Really liked this book. Set on remote islands off Cornwall, it felt different from your normal crime thriller. Really like the characters and Surprise twist you don’t see coming. Didn’t put it down.