‘When the Dead Come Calling’ – Helen Sedgwick

When the Dead Come Calling is an intriguing read, like no crime novel I’ve read before, and I’m grateful to NetGalley for allowing me to read this prior to publication in March 2020.
Set in the northern coastal town of Burrowhead, we get to see a dark underbelly to a seemingly rural idyll. Secrets abound, and there’s a small-town mentality to the characters in this that is both understandable but also scary.
The style is unusual for a crime novel, and may not be to everyone’s tastes.
At the start of the novel we learn of the discovery of a body in the local playground. It is that of a local doctor. His body is discovered by a local police officer, who also happens to be his boyfriend. A note is discovered near his body suggesting that racism could be a factor in this crime.
As I imagine to be common in a police case, details are not immediately forthcoming. We spend what seems like a lot of time trying to work out what is going on, and when another body is discovered to try and establish the links.
What struck me most while reading was that everyone seemed to be harbouring some kind of secret. I don’t want to give away details that affect the reading, but this is definitely a read that becomes more engaging as we learn more about those involved.
Throughout the story I was struck by the references to the past of the village, and the beliefs that seemed to shape the attitudes of those currently living there. I am still unclear as to how some of the references to the Others are linked, but I understand this is the first in a series so we may get answers further in the future.