Throwback Thursday: Secrets of the Dead

by Malcolm Rose

secrets of the dead


“Science deals with certainty. It’s either right or wrong. There’s no doubt.”
“No. People always seem to think that, but there’s no absolute truth in science, you know. Someone has a theory and everyone else tries to knock it down. That’s how it’s done. Scientists don’t prove things to be true, they just prove the bad theories wrong, then it’s regarded as their best stab at the truth. There’s no real certainty.”
-Page 117

Title: Secrets of the Dead
Author: Malcolm Rose
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Book: 1 of Lawless and Tilley
Genre: crime/thriller/teen

Four bodies have been found in the Peak District. They’re rotting fast and vital evidence needs to be taken from the corpses. Lawless is going to pursue a theory which could cost him his job. This is the first book in a mini-series about two detectives – Brett Lawless and Clare Tilley.


Brett Lawless is sent to help out on a case involving 4 dead bodies found in the woods. He’s new, he’s young and he’s got to the position of Detective Inspector through academics not footwork so there’s some friction with the other, older officers who don’t think he deserves it. Not only does he have to focus on the case but he’s also got to prove his worth. He and Clare Tilley aren’t partnered right away.

Do you ever suddenly remember a book you read while a teen in school and have the sudden need to re-read it or find out what happened in the rest of the series? Because that’s what happened here. I suddenly remembered the feel of these characters – something like CSI Mulder and Scully hunting Dexter – and I wondered what had happened in the rest of the series because all I could remember was a little something from book 2 and I’m not sure if I ever read passed it. Luckily they look distinctive and were easy to find with a quick “point crime” search on google images!

I remember this cover, this is the cover I had in mind when I remembered these books, but I don’t really remember this story at all. It’s possibly just because it as so long ago, I have trouble remembering the plots of books I read last month let alone books I read as a teen!

I didn’t love this book nearly as much as I remember loving them before. It was a lot shorter than I remember, but a library book may be thicker with a cover protector and all the air inside. Or maybe as an adult I’m now used to thicker books – this was just over 220 pages after all. Maybe it was because it was the first book, it had an introduction to deal with after all.
It was definitely a teen book, it had shorter sentences and simple language but a complex enough plot to keep me going.

And for a book published in ’97 it had some fantastic future tech going on!
Attitudes in this were surprising too. Sometime you think we’re winning and doing so well and then you pick up a book like this or watch a film like The Wizard of Oz and realise we really aren’t.

pam id pics paein


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