“This part of the Northumberland coast was stunning but unforgiving too, completely open to the elements”
Monument to Murder
The fourth installment in the Kate Daniels series, was a firm favourite here at the booktrail – not only for its setting – but for the plot, development characters and a real twist we didn’t see coming.
As we like to get into the novels by seeing the locations in the eyes of the characters, we walked the steps that Kate, Hank and the rest of the team would have taken when they found the skeletal remains on Bamburgh beach…
Kate has set up a murder room and investigation at Alnwick Police station and are staying at a local B and B when looking into the findings. This setting – a Northumberland village, in the winter, makes for a perfect setting for a chilling and eerie tale.
Prison psychologist Emily McCann has returned to work following the death of her husband and is trying hard to settle back into the job. One offender, Walter Fearon, who is a convicted, brutal sex offender is pleased to see her back since he has created an entire fantasy built around her and missed her when she was off. Needless to say he’s not going to make her return easy.
As Kate and her team try to solve the mystery of the buried bones, Kate wonders about their significance – the setting for one is seen to be very important – midway between Holy Island and Bamburgh Castle – the Monuments to Murder of the title.
Bamburgh castle and beach – http://www.bamburghcastle.com/
Reading on location is always a pleasure and a thrill for any serious booktrailer but it’s not until you get to Bamburgh sands, sit own in the dunes and look up at the castle that you realise just how hidden and remote a location it is. Stunning , yes, but also open to the elements and a sense that this is where two bodies were found buried on purpose with the setting a real marker –
And there it was – Bamburgh Castle – rising majestically out of the ground on which it stood, a sight of power and beauty, its distinctive red sandstone walls impenetrable to the enemy without, the royal seat of the Kings of Northumbria in days gone by.
Holy Island (in the distance)
The notion that Bamburgh Castle or Holy Island – two of the most revered places in Northumberland – could be some kind of macabre monument to murder stunning them into silence.
The village of Bamburgh
Kate slowed on the outskirts of the village to observe a 30 mile-an-hour- limit. There were buildings on the right. Some fairly flash houses. The Grace Darling Museum with an RNLI flag on top. Visit it for real here – http://bit.ly/1qYV6RR
Kate and Hank set up in Bamburgh and try to find somewhere to collect their thoughts and to find somewhere to stay. Hank meanwhile looks for the nearest pub….
Bamburgh is a pretty village Kate thinks and is one that she knows well – a short row of pretty shops and the Copper Kettle tea rooms – (yummy cream teas fyi – well we have to experience cuppa and a cake during a booktrail too of course) – http://www.copperkettletearooms.com/
Not far away a Japanese tourist was taking a photograph of a traditional red phone box with his mobile. (none the day we were there but a few bike riders although none of the motorbike variety)
Where Jo is renting a cottage during the investigation –
Twenty two miles away, Kate Daniels parked her car in the fishing village of Low Newton by the Sea, one of her favourite places along the North Northumberland coast
These are the main and hotspots of the Monument tour for us – others are mentioned such as Felton and up near the River Coquet where Emma lives. Oh a birthday meal in the Black Bull pub in Corbridge where Kate grew up. Not forgetting Acklington prison (HMP Northumberland). Bamburgh is the star of the show so to speak and it shines as a setting and a remote landscape for murder and intrigue.
To see Mari Hannah’s Northumberland – in fact to see Kate Daniels Northumberland, take a tour around Bamburgh and see the majestic castle, its view of Holy Island, the desolate but stunning beaches and stand on the dunes like Kate and Hank would have done, feeling the nip in the air and the rough sea fret on your face.
What did I see at the end of the booktrail? A lovely touch in the Bamburgh Castle bookshop –
This is Kate Daniel’s patch – read and experience her world by visiting these places.
And be sure to watch out for a figure, or maybe two, in the distance, walking a dog named Nelson….