Shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger Award
The Times Crime Book of the Month, April 2018
‘A fascinating debut’ The Sunday Times
‘A touch of Agatha Christie, a dash of Ann Cleeves’s Vera and a suitably moody setting in the Peaks…bring a formidable newcomer to British crime writing.’ Daily Mail
A SHOCKING DEATH
A lawyer is found dead in a Peak District cave, his face ribboned with scratches.
A SINISTER MESSAGE
Amidst rumours of a local curse, DI Meg Dalton is convinced this is cold-blooded murder. There's just one catch – chiselled into the cave wall above the body is an image of the grim reaper and the dead man's initials, and it's been there for over a century.
A DEADLY GAME
As Meg battles to solve the increasingly disturbing case, it's clear someone knows her secrets. The murderer is playing games with Meg – and the dice are loaded…
A white-knuckle crime debut introducing DI Meg Dalton, perfect for fans of Broadchurch and Happy Valley.
'The Devil’s Dice is a terrific debut by Roz Watkins; it teems with shivery atmosphere and introduces a cop quietly different from most of the women detectives in British crime fiction today.' The Times Crime Book of the Month.
‘An impressive debut… A touch of Agatha Christie, a dash of Ann Cleeves’s Vera and a suitably moody setting in the Peaks…bring a formidable newcomer to British crime writing.’ Daily Mail
'A fascinating debut… Watkins brilliantly balances superstition and scepticism in this clever first novel.' Sunday Times
‘The setting is dramatic, the characters are convincing and the motive for murder, when eventually uncovered, is interesting… A smart enjoyable debut.’ The Literary Review
‘Gripping… This week’s hot read’ Woman Magazine
‘Clever and compelling…fans of Broadchurch and Happy Valley will enjoy this gripping thriller’ Candis Magazine
‘A fabulous book. I can’t wait to meet DI Meg Dalton again’ B A Paris
‘An outstanding debut. The Devil’s Dice had me gripped from the start’ Stephen Booth
‘Twisty, creepy, funny, and you may shed a tear too. More DI Meg Dalton please!’ Caz Frear
‘A fascinating debut with a deliciously old school mystery at its heart. I can’t wait to see what Watkins does next!’ Angela Clarke
‘A pacy, twisty read that had me on the edge of my seat…what a brilliant debut!’ KL Slater
‘Exceptional debut. Beautifully written and observed crime novel, with such well rounded maturity it was a pleasure to read from start to finish. Glad it is a series so that we all have a lot more to look forward to.’ Amanda Robson
‘Brilliant. I love Meg!’ Lisa Hall
‘A humdinger of a debut – whip-smart and with a protagonist you’re guaranteed to want to get behind’ Mel McGrath
‘A smart, intelligent police procedural and a well-crafted mystery set against a beautiful backdrop. Compelling reading.’ Jane Isaac
‘The plot instantly seizes the reader… A great start to a new series.’ Vaseem Khan
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Roz Watkins' brilliant debut features a chilling murder mystery in the Peak District as Detective Inspector Meg Dalton quests for the truth.As Dalton returns home to Derbyshire, a body is found near a network of caves (and noted suicide spot) known as The Devil’s Dice. However, above the dead lawyer chiselled into the cave wall is an image of the grim reaper and the man's initials, and it's been there for over a century. Amidst rumours of a local curse, Dalton sets about to uncover the truth and ultimately prove herself in a deadly game of cat and mouse. The Devil’s Dice proves a terrifying and highly inventive debut. A must-read ride of suspense of fans of tense thrillers.
Great we’d story
The story is great and the author has some really nice turns of phrase, but she also has a number of irritating writing tics: e.g. cars are “shoved” into gear, tea is “shoved” on. There is also an obsession with being really awfully injured (several times) and doing nothing about it, which seems unrealistic. I’m going to read the second one because I enjoyed the storyline of this one so much. Hopefully, the writing matures.