Cover Image: Plain Dead

Plain Dead

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Not having read this author before i was dubious, however from the first page i was gripped.

Called to an army base where an apparent suicide has taken place, D I Henry Ford is not convinced and despite the findings of the Army he makes it is mission to uncover what has happened
Was this review helpful?
Another great read in the D.I. Ford series. This time with the army as background . A young woman is found dead, army officials want to get the investigation out of the way quickly and  a possible murderer is identified fairly quickly. Ford's gut feeling says it is some one else. The investigation is interesting, believable and contains a couple of twists and turns along the way.
I like the characters, descriptions of the places and the background info about Ford's personal life . Looking forward to the next installment
Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review
Was this review helpful?
I have read the detective ford books from the beginning and although i enjoyed this one i dont think it was my favourite  i wasnt as gripped with the storyline as i was the others. However i  think hannah is still my favourote character and i love fords relationship with sam and the rest of his team.
Was this review helpful?
A digital copy of this book was given to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Private Rachel Padley with the black watch is found with her throat slashed and a knife gripped in her hand. Everyone says it is an obvious suicide, but DI Ford thinks otherwise.
This partially takes place at Imber, a military training facility. Rachel's father is also in the Black Watch. Her mother is a devout religious woman who recites Bible verses. Her mother's Pastor is haughty and the Colonel is sexist. Ford is getting push back from the ACC to close the case and he refuses to send and innocent person to prison. With the troop being deployed to Somalia, he is losing time and hits roadblocks from the military. This is a fast paced detective novel.
Thank you NetGalley, Amazing Publishing UK, Thomas and Mercer and Andy Maslen
Was this review helpful?
I received this book from Amazon publishers UK via Netgalley for a review. A good police procedural the third in the 'Henry' Ford series a solid story with good characterisation and Ford's own back story.
Was this review helpful?
I would like to thank Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance copy of Plain Dead, the third novel to feature DI “Henry” Ford of the Wiltshire police.

When Private Rachel Padley’s body is found with her throat slashed everyone is keen to write it off as suicide, except Ford who thinks she was murdered. He opens a murder enquiry in the face of stiff opposition and finds himself under intense pressure to find the killer before the brigade ships out.

I enjoyed Plain Dead, which is a straightforward police procedural in the sense that one clue leads to the next in a logical progression and it is told entirely from the investigative point of view, mostly Ford. His investigation, on the other hand, is anything but straightforward with official opposition, a lack of budget, time pressure and remarkably tight lipped witnesses. Just what I like, a good mystery and lots of permutations to ponder. Even better, I came up short as an investigator so the novel held my attention throughout.

The investigation won’t get the pulses pounding or the reader tense, because it’s a slog, trying to uncover clues or even assemble a victimology, but Ford gets there in the end. I think the solution is the least plausible part of the novel, but it’s not unbelievable.

Ford is still trying to come to terms with the death of his wife seven years earlier and his guilt over it. His friend, Hannah, tries to help him and does some good, but his deteriorating relationship with his son doesn’t help. This is a recurring theme throughout the series and it’s getting old quickly. Otherwise Ford is a typical detective who spends too much time working. Hannah is the best character in the book, a real breath of fresh air with her direct approach.

Plain Dead is a good read that I can recommend.
Was this review helpful?
DI Ford is investigating the death of a female soldier on Salisbury Plain after it has been made to look like a suicide as she was holding the knife in her hand to slash her throat. But Ford is up against the Army and his superiors who want it to be a suicide. A good police procedural novel and lots of personal angst for Ford over the death of his wife and his relationship with his son.  A good read.
Was this review helpful?
DI Henry Ford is called to an army base where private Rachel Hadley has apparently slit her own throat, committing suicide. That's the view of the army, anyhow. Ford thinks not, and throws himself into an investigation with a deadline: Hadley's unit is shipping out to Somalia before month end. Is it really suicide? Perhaps a lover's quarrel gone wrong?

So we have a ticking clock, and several unbelievable things.

First, Charlie, the army SIB officer who is the liaison between the civilian police Ford represents and the army. Let's just toss in every other soldier who looks at the scene, up to and including Hadley's father, who is a colonel, and also in charge of her unit. Anyone who knows anything about human anatomy - and especially anyone who has been involved in a war, as the colonel will assuredly have been by now - can tell this is not a suicide. People bleed. A ton. Even minor papercuts can bring out an amount of blood that looks a bit scary. But the army people tromping all over the scene don't seem to notice that there's very little blood by the body - and ergo, that it is not the scene where this happened, and Hadley has been posed there, knife in hand.

Speaking of falling down on the job: Ford does not order, nor does CSI think of, apparently, a search of several outbuildings that are near where Hadley is sitting. It strains suspension of disbelief that neither would have a light bulb moment about the lack of blood, look around, and say, "Gee, maybe we should have a look over there."  The blame for this is placed on a live-fire exercise due to take place in just a few hours that cannot be canceled, which also strains credulity. Of course it can. Exercises and patrols and invasions are cancelled all the time for various reasons, and a dead body on a live fire field could certainly be one of those cases.

Once the investigation gets moving, it reads like a script from NCIS. Coroner: check. Forensics: check. And so on. It isn't lightning the world on fire, but most investigations are not exciting - they're fairly tedious, truth be told.

It doesn't take much to pick out the villain in this. I was disappointed that with all the representation going on that no one picked up on the name of a book found in Hadley's room on the base - and that unless it's a very old, used copy, the author's pen name would not be on the cover, not now. The author's real name would be. Even without that, nobody can pop on to Amazon and read a description of the book? Or, is that yet another thing they didn't think of?

It sounds like I hated the book, but I didn't. It's an easy read. There's a good camaraderie between Ford and his team, although not so much Ford and his superiors, one of whom he actually cusses out. Ford's immediate boss is more forgiving, and a lot more likeable. I really liked Hannah, the forensics expert and "walking wikipedia", who clearly has Aspberger's Syndrome. I'd be willing to read anything where she was the lead.

Overall: a solid three out of five star read. It moves along, and there are some good moments between Ford and his son, Sam.

Thanks to Amazon UK/Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for the reading copy.
Was this review helpful?
Detective Ford is given a case that the Army has classified a suicide of a young female soldier. Searching the evidence at the scene, Ford is sure it's a murder staged to look like a suicide. But, how can he prove it's murder with the Army and his superiors pushing him to say it's suicide. As Ford is reaching a deadline given that the Army is sending it's troops from the dead soldiers unit to Somalia in days, his thoughts of guilt in the death of his wife years ago keep interfering with his trying to tie up what he knows is murder.
Was this review helpful?
As a long time read of Andy Maslen's books, seeing a new title is always something to look forward to.

Especially a D.I. Ford one, as this new series is still bedding in as we get to know the characters and what makes them tick.

It is evident in the writing that the main characters are starting to exist as "real" people to the author as their personalities develop.

Plain Dead is a brilliant addition to the series and  to my mind, is one of the best, if not the best, books that Mr Maslen has released.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this, as  the characters are growing on me as I read more in the series. Interesting setting too as the storyline meant dealing with the army. Looking forward to reading more in the series
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for this ARC.  

I found this to be a good and enjoyable read, although it didn’t quite hit the mark with me as much as the two previous books did.   Ford and his team investigate what appears to be a suicide at first glance.   Ford isn’t convinced of this though and faces resistance from the Army during his investigation and is under pressure from above to solve the case quickly.   I do like the main character and his work colleagues, especially Wix who has really grown on me.  I thought this was a well written book which was nicely paced, and had a good plot line.   I loved the little glimpses into Ford’s personal and home life and his relationship with his son.    At times it felt a little overly long though and just didn’t wow me.  I guessed the murderer before the reveal and found the last 10% of the book a very tense read as it raced to a conclusion with all ends tied up nicely.   I’ll definitely want to read the next book after the ending which I hope sets up the next book.
Was this review helpful?
PLAIN DEAD – REVIEW			
Date Started: 27/09/21 
Date Finished: 01/10/21
Rating: 4/5

This book is the literary version of NCIS and I love it. 

Plain Dead is an intriguing, suspenseful, easy to read, mystery novel. It is well written with the exact right amount of description. It is also a tiny bit gory. It is mostly plot-based but when there were chapters about characters and character development, I didn’t feel bored or removed from the story. 

I absolutely loved that there were so, so many female characters. Particularly women working in STEM. I didn’t know who all the characters were at first as this is the first book, I have read in the series, but I caught up quickly. I believe that it may have spoilers for a previous book, though, so you may want to read in order.  

I learnt a lot about the British military, and it was all presented in a way that was very easy to understand. 

The format of this book was very classic and possibly overdone (I mean, there are 19 seasons of NCIS), but the plot remained new and suspenseful with plot twists.

I loved the plot but could not give this book 5 stars as the ending was not very surprising, it didn’t really have an ‘AHA’ moment. I understand that this can be difficult to do in first person detective stories as the detective can think “I suspect it is this person” and then we see them prove themselves right. Although, I guess the alternative is an unreliable narrator where the detective does not share their thoughts. And Andy Maslen does a good job of tackling this dilemma. The plot is still really captivating without the final ‘Aha!’. The ending was satisfactory, but it also just made me angry at Ford.

I definitely look forward to reading more of Maslen’s work. Just maybe not his Henry Ford stories as I found him very cynical, and I did not agree with many of his actions. You can tell a story is well written if you can dislike the main character and still love the book.
Was this review helpful?
DI Ford is torn when his son wants to go with friends hiking.
A friend put an app on Ford’s phone to know son’s location
Really didn’t help he kept watching and the anxiety got to him.
The truth how his wife died, son hasn’t been told, and the guilt by not
Death of a young soldier, he feels not suicide, time limit is short
To figure out before they are sent to Somalia, and evidence lost
Good characters that pull you in, a touch of the personal life of DI Ford
Given ARC for my voluntary review and my honest opinion  for Net Galley 
and Amazon UK. Releases November 25, 2021.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this! I have read and thoroughly enjoyed the previous two books in the DI Ford series and this certainly did not disappoint. I really liked that I actually didn't have any idea who the killer might have been until about 75% of the way through. It was gripping, easy to follow and a very quick read - I was done in about three sittings.
I look forward to more from the series.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the eARC.
DI Ford is called to the death of a young soldier on Salisbury Plain,  She was found with a knife in her hand and her throat cut.  It looks like a suicide but Ford isn't sure.  Despite his superiors insisting on him calling it a suicide and close the case he delves deep, suspecting it to be murder.
In his personal life, he and his son Sam are getting along better and he finally finds closure regarding his wife's death, thanks mostly to Hannah.  Hannah is my favorite character, I love her!
I thought this was the best in the series and look forward to the next one with more of Hannah please!
Was this review helpful?
Another engaging instalment in this series of quirky characters. This is ultimately a really sad case with the interesting addition of a military angle.
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately this book was just ok for me?!  UT had light suspense, drama , intrigue and a pretty good who done it! But I just couldn't get into it?! UT didn't drag me in or leave me waiting to see what happened! It was worth reading but just ok! Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for sharing this book with me!
Was this review helpful?
Secrets and murder drive the plot of Plain Dead, the third in the excellent D.I. Ford series by Andy Maslen.  When the body of Private Rachel Padley is found on the nearby Army base, both the military command and Ford’s superiors are eager to wrap this case up as a suicide. Ford has doubts. Misogynistic Army officers, grieving parents who seem to have destroyed all traces of their daughter, pompous police officials and a judgmental local minister all try to hide truths from Ford and his colleague, forensics expert Dr. Hannah Fellowes. Ford is working against a deadline: Rachael’s unit is soon to be deployed to Somalia. Will he be able to solve the case before the killer leaves the country?

This series just keeps getting better. Ford is a likable, flawed character, still grieving the tragic death of his wife and trying to balance the needs of his career with those of his teenage son Sam. The relationship between Ford and Hannah Fellowes continues to grow. Hannah, with her brutal and comedic honesty that results from Asperger’s Syndrome, is a unique and enjoyable character. Plain Dead is a powerful, character driven thriller. 5 stars.


Thank you to NetGalley, Amazon Publishing UK and Andy Maslen for this ARC.
Was this review helpful?
This is the 3rd book in the DI Henry Ford series by author Andy Maslen. I have read this series from book 1 where I instantly drawn to both the writing and the interesting characters. I thought at the time that the lead characters were well set out and promised a lot more in subsequent books which has proven the case.

Ford lost his wife in a climbing accident that he caused and has hidden the truth from his son Sam ever since. Ford struggles to satisfy the needs of his son while trying to carry out his job serving the police in Wiltshire. His latest case surrounds a young female soldier who is found on Salisbury Plain, her throat cut and a bloody knife in her dead hand. The common opinion is that she killed herself, but DI Ford is not convinced. Contrary to fierce opposition from the army and his own superiors, Ford decides to investigate the possibility of foul play. While dealing with the investigations Ford is still struggling with guilt and whether or not to tell his son the truth about what really happened to his wife. There is an added problem for Ford in that the victim’s regiment are due to deploy to Somalia which will mean all suspects and evidence could disappear. The clock is ticking and Ford has a matter of days to discover the truth.

Great characters, well written and plenty of suspense make this an entertaining read.

I would like to thank both Net Galley and Amazon Publishing UK for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?