Dead in the Water

The DCI Frank Merlin Series Book 5

Fiction - Crime
413 Pages
Reviewed on 06/07/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Dead in the Water by Mark Ellis is a crime thriller set in 1942, where DCI Frank Merlin faces numerous challenges as he investigates crimes committed by American soldiers in London. The United States military's autonomous governance hinders his progress. A series of murders occur, including the killing of Tomas Barboza, a Spaniard working for MI6, and Frederick Vermeulen, a British spy posing as a double agent within the German ranks. Vermeulen was involved in a shady art deal brokered by wealthy oil tycoon Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, which involved two stolen da Vinci artworks. Leo Van Buren, the seller of the art, is also murdered and found in the Thames. As readers follow the story, they are presented with the challenge of connecting these different crimes, potentially forming a single, complex conspiracy.

I love a good thriller, but when you throw in a historical World War II timeline and sprinkle it with priceless stolen art, I'm sold. None of this matters if the story itself doesn't deliver and I am very pleased to say that Dead in the Water by Mark Ellis is everything I hoped it would be, and more. Frank Merlin is a detective you desperately want to root for. Aside from being a husband and a father, his personality and nature highlight how distinctive his role is when he is navigating an art deal that went so wrong, and a variety of subplots that weave in and out with different but no less shocking types of theft, conspiracy and, of course, murder. Dead in the Water is book five in The DCI Frank Merlin Series, and you'll have to excuse me while I go back for the first four. Very highly recommended.

Mark Ellis

Thanks for the lovely review Asher. So glad you like it!

Mark Ellis

If readers are interested in any of my previous books here is a list. 3 of them have recently been given new titles by the publishers. I list the full series below with current titles any any previous titles noted in brackets.
Frank Merlin 1: The Embassy Murders (Princes Gate). Set in January 1940.
Frank Merlin 2: In The Shadows Of The Blitz (Stalin’s Gold). Set in September 1940.
Frank Merlin 3: The French Spy (Merlin At War). Set in June 1941.
Frank Merlin 4: A Death In Mayfair. Set in December 1941.
Frank Merlin 5: Dead In The Water. Set in August 1942.