Where The Innocent Die by M J Lee

Nowhere is safe. No one can be trusted.

Book blurb

A bloodied body is found in a Manchester Immigrant Removal Centre. The investigating officer and the pathologist seem certain: a suicide. But for DI Ridpath something doesn’t add up.

As the evidence starts to unravel, and with few leads, the pressure is on to find answers before the Inquest is closed. Caught between the police, the coroner and a system that doesn’t care, Ridpath isn’t making any friends.

And at the centre of the case Ridpath will find a heart of darkness. Innocent people are suffering. How many more will die before Ridpath discovers the truth?

My thoughts

Fourth in this very good series concerns an investigation into a death at an Immigrant Removal Centre in Manchester, the setting for all the books in this series. Wendy Tang is found dead supposedly a suicide but it soon transpires that it’s murder. Who could get into a high security unit such as the IRC and commit murder? It is either someone on the inside or who had help from an insider.

DI Ridpath who works as a coroner’s officer is charged by Mrs Challinor, the coroner, to investigate but time is not on his side since she won’t postpone the hearing. Mrs Challinor is acutely aware that Wendy’s parents are arriving to take her body home for burial and she will not waver on this. Ridpath has until Friday barely three days to find out what happened.

A highly charged storyline of what seems to be police incompetence, unfortunate mistakes made by the initial pathologist and apparently flaunting of the irregular workings of the IRC. A race against time brings tension and a fast paced story of people trafficking and prostitution.

There are more deaths and another woman’s story is being told through all of this. With the death toll increasing Manchester MIT are brought in and Ridpath works with his boss Chief Superintendent Clare Trent who puts him in charge of the operation. She had already offered to bring Ridpath back into MIT. His cancer is in remission and the work he had done on a previous case was beginning to get him noticed again.

Will he solve the mystery and find the murderer? Will he accept Trent’s offer to return? Will his health hold up? How will his family react? Not everything is resolved which leaves us knowing that there’s obviously more book(s) to come but there is a dramatic resolution to this heartbreaking and shameful investigation.

I really enjoy this series. The books are gritty and hard hitting without being overtly explicit. The stories are interesting, well written and with some great characters. I would not hesitate to recommend the books in this really good series and look forward to no. 5, which already awaits my attention.

Book: purchased | Thoughts on Previous Ridpath Books


Published: Canelo

eBook: ISBN9781788637442 | Publication Date: 23rd March 2020

Paperback: ISBN9781788638029 | Publication Date: 23rd July 2020

Buy: Canelo links

Author: M J Lee has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a university researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, TV commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.

He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the north of England, in London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning advertising awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and the United Nations. 

While working in Shanghai, he loved walking through the old quarters of that amazing city, developing the idea behind a series of crime novels featuring Inspector Pyotr Danilov, set in the 1920s. 

When he’s not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, practising downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake, and wishing he were George Clooney.

M J Lee website|@WriterMJLee


M J Lee has written two other series Jayne Sinclair Genealogical Mysteries (7 books) and Inspector Danilov Crime Thrillers (4 books)

D I Ridpath Series

The first three books in the series

There are now seven books in this series and I have them all patiently waiting for me to read them. The fourth is Where the Innocent Die. This is followed by Where the Past Kills; Where Evil Waits; When the Guilty Cry.

4 Comments on “Where The Innocent Die by M J Lee


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