The Grave Digger’s Boy by R.R. Newman

Book blurb

As a boy, Ben was a witness in the disappearance and suspected murder of a beautiful young woman, Esther Garrett, which led to an intense adolescent obsession.

Twenty years later, the conviction of her murder is overturned due to a police corruption scandal.  Ben’s obsession is reawakened when Esther’s sister asks for his help investigating the crime.

As Ben is drawn deeper into the case, he will be forced to face the truth about his own life and soon finds himself questioning everything he ever believed.

Was Esther really murdered?

And if so, could the killer be closer to home than anyone ever imagined?

My thoughts

It’s my turn on the Blog Blitz today for The Grave Digger’s Boy by R. R. Newman. This is his first non-fiction book and I’m delighted to be part of the tour.

The book is written from the point of view of the main character – Ben. He’s quite an admirable, if somewhat awkward, young fellow. Esther, a teenage girl, goes missing. Ben becomes somewhat obsessed with what is happening. He was after all a witness, one of the last to see her. The connection he made in that brief moment on the bus with Esther has had a profound effect.

Twenty years later when an officer is being investigated a number of convictions are being overturned one of them is Esthers case. Ben, 31 and now living in London, is contacted by her sister, Lucy, she wants answers. Ben is back to being that obsessed young lad. He returns back home and starts to investigate with Lucy. He wants to do right by Esther, he wanted to when he was eleven, and finds he still does now he is an adult. Lucy is somewhat contrary in her attitude towards Ben. She has asked for his help but then gets a bit tetchy when he gets, perhaps, too involved.

This is a book which is written from the interesting slant of Ben when he is eleven and then as a 31 year old. We find out about what apparently happened to Esther through the young Ben. It is the older Ben that has the ability to make sense of things his younger self could not. Yet he is still driven by his obsession, his sense of right – for Esther.

As Ben continues to look into what happens, considering possible options to the man who was convicted – rightly or wrongly – it seems that someone is not happy with his snooping. The Police certainly aren’t.

When Ben is confronted with a piece of information from back when he was eleven he realises what may have happened. He must be sure. The tension racks up from this moment. Has Ben found the real killer? What can he do? What proof does he actually have?

The suspect may not be a total surprise to the reader by now but what happens in the closing chapters of the book surely are.

The Grave Digger’s Boy is an enjoyable and engaging read, well written with sufficient pace, good characterisation and an excellent, tension-filled and, yes, shocking finale.


With many thanks to Heather at Bloodhound Books for the invite to The Grave Digger’s Boy BlogBlitz. Do check out the rest of the tour…..


Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Buy: AmazonSmileUK (the eBook is currently 99p!)


Ray Newman grew up in Devon and Somerset, and lives in Bristol, where he works as a writer and editor in trade publishing. 

His first novel, The Grave Digger’s Boy, is a psychological crime novel set in the West Country. 

Ray studied English at Cambridge, specialising in American literature and crime fiction, and worked in central government communications after graduating. 

Under the name ‘Ray Bailey’ he has co-authored two multi-award-winning non-fiction books, on beer and pubs respectively. 

He has also written articles on architecture, history and culture for Fortean Times, the Modernist and the Bristol Magazine, among other publications.

Follow on Twitter: @MrRayNewman

One Comment on “The Grave Digger’s Boy by R.R. Newman

  1. Pingback: #20BooksofSummer – final roundup – Love Books, Read Books


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