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Ruined Stones    by Eric Reed Amazon.com order for
Ruined Stones
by Eric Reed
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2017 (2017)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

A policeman's daughter, Grace Baxter, moves from a small Shropshire village to Newcastle-on-Tyne looking for a change in her life. Coming from a small village, she looks forward to exploring city life.

Newcastle-on-Tyne has hired her to be a member of the local constabulary where she isn't immediately made to feel welcome. Her gender seems to be an affront to her fellow police personnel. The time is that of the World War II blitz, with air raid warnings and wardens, below ground shelters and Luftwaffe bombings.

To top off everyone's shattered nerves, a woman's body is found in a ruined Roman temple, her body laid in the outline of a left-handed swastika! Hard to identify, she has no identifying documents on her person and no handbag.

Grace must deal with men disqualifying her from what is considered men's work. But, as we might expect, she is good at what she does. She considers what could be important to find the murderer the position the body was deliberately laid out in but her fellow officers disagree and reject her ideas. However, when another body is found in the same left-handed swastika outline, they are forced to at least listen to her.

The Roman ruins seem to play a part in the mystery. Do ancient rituals have anything to do with the murders? The hostility that Grace feels directed to her only makes her more determined to solve the murders and earn some respect from her fellow officers.

Take into consideration that this takes place in the time of the blackouts all over London, the cold and fog and fear making everything even that much harder to deal with. Does Grace win the gender battle? Obtain a copy of Ruined Stones and discover a clever ending, while Grace fears for her own life.

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