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The Art of Dying: DI Westphall Book 3

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In this first book in a brand new series, DI Ben Westphall investigates a decades-old murder that takes him from the Scottish highlands to the depths of the Estonian forest. Expect twists and turns , dark humour and even darker crimes, but most of all, expect the unexpected. 'Richly atmospheric . . . Lindsay solidifies his place as one of the rising stars of tartan In this first book in a brand new series, DI Ben Westphall investigates a decades-old murder that takes him from the Scottish highlands to the depths of the Estonian forest. Expect twists and turns , dark humour and even darker crimes, but most of all, expect the unexpected. 'Richly atmospheric . . . Lindsay solidifies his place as one of the rising stars of tartan noir' Publishers Weekly A dead man walks into a police station. He tells a tale - bizarre as it is grotesque - of kidnap and organ harvesting. John Baden's story of being held prisoner for twelve years sounds far-fetched - but it's all about to get much, much stranger.DI Ben Westphall has been given the case because of his background in MI6. He also has a knack for getting inside people's heads and seeing things others would miss. Westphall is no ordinary detective and this is no ordinary investigation.When his suspects start dying, Westphall realises someone is killing to cover up the truth. But what exactly is the truth? To find out, he'll have to question everything he's been told, before there's no one left to ask.****************What readers are saying about SONG OF THE DEAD'A brilliantly written, dark and twisting read . . . a step above the usual crime thrillers''Excellent book! Loved the characters and it was a great storyline''Completely wonderful . . . Really recommend, and I'll be looking for other titles by this author''Clever plotting which kept me turning the pages'


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In this first book in a brand new series, DI Ben Westphall investigates a decades-old murder that takes him from the Scottish highlands to the depths of the Estonian forest. Expect twists and turns , dark humour and even darker crimes, but most of all, expect the unexpected. 'Richly atmospheric . . . Lindsay solidifies his place as one of the rising stars of tartan In this first book in a brand new series, DI Ben Westphall investigates a decades-old murder that takes him from the Scottish highlands to the depths of the Estonian forest. Expect twists and turns , dark humour and even darker crimes, but most of all, expect the unexpected. 'Richly atmospheric . . . Lindsay solidifies his place as one of the rising stars of tartan noir' Publishers Weekly A dead man walks into a police station. He tells a tale - bizarre as it is grotesque - of kidnap and organ harvesting. John Baden's story of being held prisoner for twelve years sounds far-fetched - but it's all about to get much, much stranger.DI Ben Westphall has been given the case because of his background in MI6. He also has a knack for getting inside people's heads and seeing things others would miss. Westphall is no ordinary detective and this is no ordinary investigation.When his suspects start dying, Westphall realises someone is killing to cover up the truth. But what exactly is the truth? To find out, he'll have to question everything he's been told, before there's no one left to ask.****************What readers are saying about SONG OF THE DEAD'A brilliantly written, dark and twisting read . . . a step above the usual crime thrillers''Excellent book! Loved the characters and it was a great storyline''Completely wonderful . . . Really recommend, and I'll be looking for other titles by this author''Clever plotting which kept me turning the pages'

30 review for The Art of Dying: DI Westphall Book 3

  1. 5 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Complex Scottish mystery! At first I thought what have I let myself in for. A few pages in and I was hooked. I was knee deep in vicious murders, Corporate concerns and Russian intervention. Opening with a litany of deaths caused by the hero seemed a tad daunting, but as I progressed I realized their import. This is DI Westphall's "line-up of guilt," from his MI6 days. Now they're joined by ghosts from his cases. This latest investigation begins with a football match death, links somehow to an up m Complex Scottish mystery! At first I thought what have I let myself in for. A few pages in and I was hooked. I was knee deep in vicious murders, Corporate concerns and Russian intervention. Opening with a litany of deaths caused by the hero seemed a tad daunting, but as I progressed I realized their import. This is DI Westphall's "line-up of guilt," from his MI6 days. Now they're joined by ghosts from his cases. This latest investigation begins with a football match death, links somehow to an up market care home and seems to have a whiff of Russian assistance. Westphall's church attendance is an interesting twist. Is he looking for absolution? Maybe. Release from his guilt? Who knows? His attention is caught by the line from the service, "My blood of the Covenant." My attention is grabbed by the inclusion of one of my favorite hymns, "I the Lord of sea and sky." Oh yes, there's more to this novel than your run-of-the-mill murder mystery story. A question perhaps? Where shall the man within the police uniform, haunted by his past retreat to? There Westphall sits looking at a stained glass window portraying the death of Saint Sebastian, "Haunted by a man in a dream who sees everything without being able to see anything at all." And when the minister startles him by commenting on the window with the murmured phrase, ‘The art of dying,' well I'm there! I'm well and truly caught in the web that is Westphall and that of the intricately layered crimes he's investigating. A compelling read! A Hodder & Stoughton ARC via NetGalley

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mysticpt

    Another great entry in this series, I love this author and this character. Ben is still haunted by his previous life is a M16 agent and others from his past and present and future. A very good procedural that doesn't follow the usual beats. 4 + Stars Another great entry in this series, I love this author and this character. Ben is still haunted by his previous life is a M16 agent and others from his past and present and future. A very good procedural that doesn't follow the usual beats. 4 + Stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader. The Art of Dying is the third DI Westphall procedural by Douglas Lindsay. Due out 22nd Aug 2019 from Hachette on their Mulholland imprint, it's 416 pages and will be available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats. This is an incredibly well written, very dark and atmospheric Scottish procedural (tartan noir, indeed). The protagonist is haunted by the ghosts of people from his past as a spy and as a policeman. It's not entirely clear from Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader. The Art of Dying is the third DI Westphall procedural by Douglas Lindsay. Due out 22nd Aug 2019 from Hachette on their Mulholland imprint, it's 416 pages and will be available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats. This is an incredibly well written, very dark and atmospheric Scottish procedural (tartan noir, indeed). The protagonist is haunted by the ghosts of people from his past as a spy and as a policeman. It's not entirely clear from the sort of unreliable 1st person narrator if he's disturbed or dreaming these interactions or synchronizing facts subconsciously. Whatever the reason, the writing is razor sharp and the way the author has written in these interludes adds a lot of tension and atmosphere to the whole. DI Ben Westphall has to solve the case whilst dealing with Russian money laundering and spy involvement, multiple murders in a posh retirement home, sexual and relationship minefields with a female vicar friend and confidant, as well as office politics with his superiors all without causing an international incident. There is a lot of graphic violence. There are several murders and they run the gamut from a sudden beating death after a football (soccer) match, to evisceration, beheading, intentional stifling (smothering), etc. There is also a fair amount of sexual tension and longing. The main protagonist is psychologically quite damaged and lonely, but also very intelligent and aware of his unhealthy mental state and unwilling to try to form a lasting relationship. The language is rough, strongly R rated. It is used in context and not egregiously. I would say it's about average for a gritty police procedural. Despite being the third in the series, it works well enough as a standalone. This book will definitely appeal to fans of modern police procedurals who don't need to have every single plot thread tied up in a neat bow by the end. One of the most fascinating things about this book for me was watching Westphall sort through and disentangle the relative truth from all the lies all of the witnesses he interview were telling him. Five stars for fans of gritty procedurals. I can definitely see this one being made for TV (with David Tennant, please, thank you)! Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amy Gill Horton

    The Art of Dying is the latest in the DI Westphall series by Douglas Lindsay. DI Westphall has moved to quiet town of Dingwall on the Scottish coast. During his investigation into three murders that leave plenty of questions as to how they are connected, he is plagued with mental messages driving him to deal with how the deadly force he used in his past work has affected him psychologically. The book is part of a series, but makes an excellent stand alone read. The author has a distinct writing The Art of Dying is the latest in the DI Westphall series by Douglas Lindsay. DI Westphall has moved to quiet town of Dingwall on the Scottish coast. During his investigation into three murders that leave plenty of questions as to how they are connected, he is plagued with mental messages driving him to deal with how the deadly force he used in his past work has affected him psychologically. The book is part of a series, but makes an excellent stand alone read. The author has a distinct writing style that follows the main character’s thoughts, an old style detective noir, hard boiled and unsentimental. Some of DI Westphall’s thoughts and dreams seemed a bit disjointed at first as he processes them. His confusion about them was a major part of the storyline. Because they fit the storyline I didn’t mind that there were a few stop reading and think moments. Although I see how some readers may find this distracting. Ultimately the author does make clear what is going on with DI Westphall’s dreams in one short paragraph! Overall, Lindsay wove the murder investigation and subplots well, pulling what was important together in the ending, and leaving a few openings to continue the series. My rating is 4 Stars: I really liked it! There were a couple of spots where the main character was a bit long on reflection. For reference my version of a 5 star review is “I absolutely loved it! It will stay with me for a long time and/or I would read it again in the future. Highly recommended.” As a reviewer for NetGalley, I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mystica

    This book with its Scottish setting was very atmospheric. Starting out with a murder after an altercation at a football stadium, it appeared to be one of those type of random murders. We then get involved in big corporations, the Russians, forgery of paintings, retirement homes with people getting murdered there as well. All seemingly random, all seemingly unconnected but our detective knows that there are dots that just have to be connected. It comes about through the most unlikely candidate - a This book with its Scottish setting was very atmospheric. Starting out with a murder after an altercation at a football stadium, it appeared to be one of those type of random murders. We then get involved in big corporations, the Russians, forgery of paintings, retirement homes with people getting murdered there as well. All seemingly random, all seemingly unconnected but our detective knows that there are dots that just have to be connected. It comes about through the most unlikely candidate - a woman who is considered psychotic, never having spoken for years who sits in front of one of the most horrific paintings imaginable, and just stares at it all day. How the detective connects the dots and finds out the solution to the puzzle is amazing and this is what makes this thriller so good. With touches of spirits in the form of ghosts from past experiences the Detective combines them all into a very good read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    This third installment of DI Westphall is a bit darker than the other two. He does a lot of remembering of people whose demise he feels guilty for, mostly when he was in MI6. Some are even people he thinks he might have harmed emotionally. He dreams of them every night, in detail. The eerie part though, is that sometimes he sees people in dreams that he doesn't know, and ends up meeting later. In this book, it all starts with a murder after a football (think soccer) game. It ties in with the vic This third installment of DI Westphall is a bit darker than the other two. He does a lot of remembering of people whose demise he feels guilty for, mostly when he was in MI6. Some are even people he thinks he might have harmed emotionally. He dreams of them every night, in detail. The eerie part though, is that sometimes he sees people in dreams that he doesn't know, and ends up meeting later. In this book, it all starts with a murder after a football (think soccer) game. It ties in with the victim's family, the Russian mob, and an old folks' home. Once the whole thing is solved, after numerous twists and turns and dead-ends, Westphall realizes that one woman he saw and heard at the home was never really there, but she WAS talking to him, about one of his co-workers. Lots of actions and some suspense, with a little of the supernatural in the background - maybe.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Frances Bullock

    This third installment of DI Westphall is a bit darker than the other two. He does a lot of remembering of people whom he killed and now feels guilty for. He dreams of them every night, in detail. In this book, it all starts with a murder after a football game. It ties in with the victim's family, the Russian mob, and an old folks' home. Once the whole thing is solved, after numerous twists and turns and dead-ends, DI Westphall realises that a woman he saw at the home was never there, but she WA This third installment of DI Westphall is a bit darker than the other two. He does a lot of remembering of people whom he killed and now feels guilty for. He dreams of them every night, in detail. In this book, it all starts with a murder after a football game. It ties in with the victim's family, the Russian mob, and an old folks' home. Once the whole thing is solved, after numerous twists and turns and dead-ends, DI Westphall realises that a woman he saw at the home was never there, but she WAS talking to him, about one of his co-workers. Lots of actions and some suspense, with a little of the supernatural in the background. Struggled to cope with the supernatural parts - not really my thing but made it through to the end.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    Thank you Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book. I had not read a book by Douglas Lindsay previously but definitely will again This had everything I want in a book a good detective, a disturbing story and gory crimes with many different and plenty of twists. Definitely recommend

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jen Bailey Bergen

    Oooof I hope there are more to come in this series!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Archie Murray

    Another wonderful example of Tartan noir. Detective Inspector Westphall's third outing is another excellent book with the main character being given even more depth Another wonderful example of Tartan noir. Detective Inspector Westphall's third outing is another excellent book with the main character being given even more depth

  11. 5 out of 5

    TC

    Recommended. Review posted at Tzer Island book blog: http://www.tzerisland.com/bookblog/20... Recommended. Review posted at Tzer Island book blog: http://www.tzerisland.com/bookblog/20...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pgchuis

    After really disliking the second in this series, number 3 was good again, although I have started to skip over the chapters where Ben is dreaming of/seeing dead people. There were an awful lot of deaths, the motive for which seemed barely adequate, but otherwise well-plotted and entertaining.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shannon M

    Poor writer who kept me interested in the previous two books in this series through the use of strong, and unusual, plot developments. The writing hasn’t improved in three books, maybe even deteriorated, and this time the plot, although complex didn’t quite hang together. It is probably a 2.5 star book, and I debated for some time before deciding to give it a 2. Others might think it is worth 3 stars. Certainly not worth a higher rating than that.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    There is something very unique and special in Douglas Lindsay's writing, and especially so in the character of DI Westphall who wonderfully-evoked character comes out more strongly than ever in his struggle to solve this convoluted and untidy - but entirely absorbing - crime. The creation of a sense of place is lesson to us all. Another series to be binge-read on an annual basis. There is something very unique and special in Douglas Lindsay's writing, and especially so in the character of DI Westphall who wonderfully-evoked character comes out more strongly than ever in his struggle to solve this convoluted and untidy - but entirely absorbing - crime. The creation of a sense of place is lesson to us all. Another series to be binge-read on an annual basis.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mrs Rowena MacKinnon

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gms

  17. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Holmes

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Anne Greenham

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Barry

  20. 4 out of 5

    David

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  22. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  23. 5 out of 5

    CatherinesBooks

  24. 5 out of 5

    James Larkman

  25. 5 out of 5

    Linda Young

  26. 5 out of 5

    Geoff Hopkins

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

  28. 4 out of 5

    John Dalgleish

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  30. 5 out of 5

    Richard Irwin

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