#BookReview: Ground Rules by Richard Whittle

Ground Rules Ground Rules by Richard Whittle
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Called out one night in the hope that she can identify the body of a man found in a field, Edinburgh forensic geologist Jessica Spargo (Jez) inadvertently becomes involved in the investigation of a university lecturer's murder. The investigating officer, Tom Curtis, hands her a small glass vial and asks her to analyze its contents. The results confound everyone.

An object discovered beneath a construction site shocks everyone, including the police. Employed by the firm's owner to attempt to solve the mystery, Jez falls foul of an uncooperative site manager. Unruffled, she perseveres. To Jez's dismay, there are more deaths. As she says to Curtis, 'I don't do bodies. I'm a geologist, I look at rocks. If I'd wanted to look at bits of the body I would have become a surgeon or a pathologist.' Yet she keeps digging ...

Review: One of the reasons I wanted to read this book was that the subject matter was quite intriguing and very unique. The book shows author's knowledge of the same quite clearly. I had some trouble getting into the story in the beginning when we have a lot of geological information is discussed by the characters. It can make one think that the story might be too detail-oriented to follow easily. Please do not let go of the story so soon because things do get smoother and the characters take over the plot to make it more engaging. There are different kinds of investigation going on within the story - police procedure, geological explorations, adventures based on old maps and such. 

I also struggled a little with very little background on Jez & Curtis. In fact, theirs was quite a hot & cold sort of relationship which I found a little inconsistent. From this book I wished I would have liked a little more light on the first case where they met because of Jez's father [ which I realized is a prior book by the author and I am equally intrigued to read it now ]

But once I had crossed the part where both the cases are revealed and Jez is involved, I followed her investigation and her questions closely. It was fascinating to know that ground we see or walk on daily has so much going on below it and how it was like an integral character to the storyline. Jez might appear as a little arrogant but hats off to her for having the patience to deal with all the men around her with their personal bias and attitudes. She is curious, hard-working, respectful of others but she also very humane in showing her weakness when she refuses to handle bones and such stuff or think of dead bodies in any situation. This made me bond with her more because none of it stops her sense of justice and fighting for the victim. She is not perfect but is a damn admirable female lead and I would like to read more of her series.

I liked all the secondary characters in the book but I totally loved Jez's old colleague Andy. I wish he appears more in other books of Jez & Curtis and plays a bigger role in the investigation with his internet friends. Also, can we please have more of Cavendish working with Jez than Curtis. Cavendish sounded a fun police guy from this book. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable read for me as an introduction to Jez's world. 

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