Just in time for Hallowe’en, a tale about bodies in a hidden graves . . .

Fans of Val McDermid’s Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series have been waiting to read the next installment after the shocking ending of Insidious Intent. How the Dead Speak brings all of those threads into the present while it illustrates McDermid’s ability to plot like no one else.

An old convent has been sold, and when the developers start to dig, human remains are found on the grounds–lots of human remains in unmarked graves, despite the graveyard with some of the former nuns on the other side of the building.

But that’s not the only surprise those grounds will turn up. When more bodies are found of a more recent vintage, a serial killer is suspected as using the grounds as his private hiding place.

Meanwhile both Tony and Carol are adjusting to new roles outside the police force with surprising results for both of them. It’s to McDermid’s credit that she doesn’t take the easy way out and gives them both challenges to fight for. It’s also difficult to discuss the plot without spoilers; suffice it to say readers need to find out for themselves that the duo are up to.

The crew of the ReMIT team have changed in a few respects, not the least their leader, whom DI Paula McIntyre struggles to connect with, while the team has a political conflict with another team that doesn’t bode well for a rating deemed plays well with others. It all adds to the tension of trying to track down nuns who are dispersed and either poor witnesses or taking a vow of silence.

Another winner that will have readers gobbling up the pages that proves that McDermid is the Queen of Crime, this one is highly recommended.