In Disturbed Earth by E,E, Richardson, things that go bump in the night are nothing new for DCI Pierce. Not long after Detective Chief Inspector Pierce has returned to work after an injury sustained in the line of duty (in book one in the series, Under the Skin) There is a call for the unit. Some mysterious skulls covered in runes have been found in a field. Three of them to be precise. Her new Detective Inspector calls in a necromancer to consult with one of the victims/former owner of one of the skulls. Things start to go sideways. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
There is a lantern in magical forensics that is warning that something big is going to happen in a few days time. It’s not clear beyond that message. And there are druids in the parking lot protesting that someone has taken over the site they usually worship at for the Winter Solstice. And there are a string of artifact thefts that have occurred recently. Seemingly unconnected at first, but soon pointing to something bigger, events take off. More skulls, some possessed appear. And if the department consultant is right, results of this ritual may be catastrophic.
Spread too thin, the unit tries to respond to all of the crimes that have been called into it since DCI Pierce has gotten back with the backup of regular police. It’s the kind of thing that will show what her unit is truly made of. Unfortunately for them, it’s mostly made up of new and inexperienced staff.
Positives: It’s a good paranormal mystery. I like that DCI Pierce is not a young chick. She is a mature lady in her 50s and is experienced with regards to the things her unit handles. Or at least as experienced as one can be when this is all new ground. Also, the expert that she calls in to help figure out what’s up with the skulls is an even older woman. The pace of the book is fast. It takes place over just a few days. The story is told from DCI Pierce’s point of view for the most part. This book can be read as a stand alone, which I did. There are a few references to book one, so perhaps the reading experience would be richer if that was read as well.
Negative: The only negative thing I can say is that DCI Pierce is the only character who is really well developed. Some of the others could use a little more flesh on their bones. No, they’re not zombies. Some of them are a bit 2 dimensional.
Overall, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars for the plot, pace, and DCI Pierce.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.