When The Evil Waits by M J Lee @WriterMJLee @CaneloCrime @canelo_co

A child’s body in an unmarked grave. A killer waiting to strike again.

Book blurb

A young boy’s body is found in a meadow beside the River Mersey. No DNA. No witnesses. No clues. It brings back painful memories of the Moors Murderers. 

After two weeks, the police have made no progress finding the killer. The one thing they do know; he will kill again. It is a race against time – and they are losing.

DI Thomas Ridpath has just returned to work. Diagnosed with PTSD and undergoing supervised psychological therapy, he is dragged into the case against his better judgement. When another child is kidnapped, Ridpath must confront his own demons to stop a killer before he strikes again.

My thoughts

I don’t know how I’ve got behind on this series! I’ve read the first five so when I realised No.9 will be released later in March it was time to crack on with book six When The Evil Waits by M J Lee.

Thomas Ridpath is a D.I. attached to the coroner’s office and this series brings to crime fiction a different and refreshing viewpoint, along with the Coroner and her team, to investigations. When the Past Kills had a shock ending. When The Evil Waits by M J Lee takes up what has happened since.

After the devastating ending in the last book When The Evil Waits is not just bringing a heartbreaking story of the aftermath but also a cracking albeit somewhat distressing investigative storyline.

It’s so good when you settle in with familiar characters and find out what they’re up to since the previous book. Several months have passed and they were tough for Ridpath but he’s back to work and dropped right into a difficult investigation. A kidnapped child has been found dead and MIT are getting nowhere, time is ticking and the SIO, DCI Paul Turnbull, on the case is pushing for an arrest.

Ridpath, a member of MIT on loan to the coroners office, is asked by DSup Claire Trent to review the investigation so far without the knowledge of the SIO. He’s given two MIT personnel to work alongside him – Chrissy Wright, the department’s civilian researcher and DS Emily Parkinson – with less than a week to complete his work.

Whilst procedures seem to have been followed Ridpath knows something is off with the investigation. Can he find out what? He’s sure that the SIO is wrong about his suspect. But can he prove it? Or will the wrong person be arrested?

A witness is caught out in a lie, then another witness is too! The case is becoming a shambles and an interfering journalist is closing in on the mess!

The odds are stacked against Ridpath, this case is taking its toll and he’s ready to let it go. He needs to be sorting out his own problems and getting his family back together. Emily and Chrissy have other ideas and are prepared to carry on by themselves. Ridpath realises he must stay on the case. They chase down every last possible idea to try and find out who the killer is.

Then a second child is kidnapped! This time it’s close to Ridpath, it’s the Coroner’s grandson! As time runs out will Ridpath, Chrissy & Emily be able to crack the case?

This is a terrific story, heartbreaking on several levels, an excellent way of showing how the pressures on policing, from the media and from within, can have such a devastating impact on an already struggling investigation especially when a bullheaded leading officer is thrown in the mix. The tension between Ridpath and Turnbull comes to a head, it doesn’t bode well for the future! The personal storyline regarding Ridpath is touching and well handled. The story is well written and compelling, the pace is just right and the characters are very engaging.

This is a terrific book and I hugely recommend it.

Indeed I enjoy the series. The characters are terrific, the setting of Manchester is wonderful (I love it when I know the places that are used in the story), the plots are so good and I become immersed in the books. I delighted to have seven and eight waiting on my eReader and I’ve (pre) ordered What The Shadows Hide.

Book: purchased | My thoughts on Books 1-3 | Book 4 | Book 5


Published: Canelo Crime (25 March 2021)

Ebook – ISBN: 9781788637466 | Publication Date: 25th March 2021
Paperback – ISBN: 9781800322561 | Publication Date: 25th March 2021
Audio – ISBN: 9781800326217 | Read by Dan Bottomley | Publication Date: 12th August 2021

Buy: AmazonSmileUK | Hive | Waterstones | Bookshop.org (affiliate link) |your local indie bookshop | your local library

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 Inspector Danilov Crime Thrillers and Jayne Sinclair Genealogical Mysteries

D I Ridpath Series

Where the Silence Calls | Where the Dead Fall | Where the Truth Lies | Where the Innocent Die | When the Past Kills | When the Evil Waits | When the Guilty Cry | When the Night Ends | What The Shadows Hide

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Looking for thoughtful discussions about books and beverages? Well, you've come to the right place.

Taking On a World of Words

Homepage for fledgling writer Sam A. Stevens

Books, Cats, Etc.

A place to share my love of books, old and new


Thinking, writing, thinking about writing...


Book reviews by someone who loves books ...

Just One More Chapter

Book Reviews & More

Years of Reading Selfishly

Life is too short to read books you don't love

Crime Cymru

The Welsh Crime Writing Collective

Sharon Dempsey

First Chapter

Beverley's Reads

Book Reviews & The Joy of Reading

the dead authors club

a classics club blog


The poetry and writing of Ailsa Cawley. Welcome!

The Last Word Book Review

Musings about books and a blog journal

Crime Writer Margot Kinberg

...a crime-fictional site

Hugh's Views & News  

WordPress & Blogging tips, flash fiction, photography and lots more!

The Classics Club

A Community of Classics Lovers

Reading Matters

Book reviews of mainly modern & contemporary fiction

Raven Crime Reads

Criminally good reads

The book review café

Book reviews and the occasional ramblings of a book blogger

A crime readers blog

A place for crime fiction reviews and occasional ramblings of a 40 something in York

A Fangirl's Opinion

One Girl, Too Many Books

Jen Med's Book Reviews

Musings and Ramblings of a Disorganised Blogger

Digital Reads Media

Shalini's Digital Reads & Promotions

KayCKay Book Reviews

No one ever reads the same book. We all react to the written word differently. The following are my opinions regarding the books I have read.

Being Anne...

Books, travel, and other things that make life interesting

What Cathy Read Next...

For book lovers everywhere

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Book related stuff in English and Dutch!

Nordic Lighthouse

Spotlight on Nordic / Scandinavian crime fiction... and connections

Novel Deelights

Escaping reality one book at a time

Jess Bookish Life

Reader | Writer | Blogger

Scribbling Clouds

The place where I put down all my thoughts and observations

Pages Below the Vaulted Sky

A book blog with a speculative focus

Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader

Reading under the light of a Carolina moon



Ah Sweet Mystery!

Celebrating the Golden Age of Detection in books and on screen

Bibliophile Book Club

Books, reviews and more...


Life in Newcastle and beyond...

Reviews by Chloé

Feast your eyes on all the books that I have absolutely LOVED


Book reviews and random musings

%d bloggers like this: