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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Beyond the Pales is a police procedural written by Toby J. Cole. Detective Superintendent Pandora Kingdom survived being a murder squad detective for 25 years, but her tour in Afghanistan nearly killed her. She's back in London now and has been convalescing, which includes learning how to function with a prosthetic arm and leg. Her leave abruptly ends when Assistant Chief Constable James Lacey appears at her door with a murder investigation for her to lead. The victim is Susan Thompson, a forensic anthropologist with links to top secret Ministry of Defense experiments, and she's been found with her hands hammered to the sides of a gravestone in Brookwood Cemetery.
Toby J. Cole's police procedural mystery, Beyond the Pales, is a heady mix of police procedural and historical thriller, with just a hint of the supernatural thrown in for good measure, and it works brilliantly. Pandora Kingdom is smart, strong and resourceful, and her leading role in the murder investigation kept me enthralled while reading the book. Cole's story is well-plotted, and the cemetery setting is marvelous. While Cole admittedly took some liberties with the history and legends surrounding the London Necropolis, my searches on Google came up with countless haunting images and a fascinating story. This is one of those books that make the reader start wondering if the author has written any other works and then figuring out how to get a hold of them. Fans of the police procedural and thriller genres have a real treat in store for them with this book. Beyond the Pales is outstanding and is most highly recommended.