Dead in the Water by Mark Ellis – Book review/Blog Tour

I’m so pleased to be part of the Midas #blogtour for Dead in the Water by Mark Ellis historical crime set in 1942 London.

The Second World War rages on but Britain now faces the Nazi threat with America at its side. In a bombed-out London swarming with gangsters and spies, DCI Frank Merlin continues his battle against rampant wartime crime. A mangled body is found in the Thames just as some items of priceless art go mysteriously missing. What sinister connection links the two? Merlin and his team follow a twisting trail of secrets as they investigate a baffling and deadly puzzle.


I love reading historical fiction but I don’t really read a lot of crime fiction set in World war 2 but after reading  Dead in the  Water by Mark Ellis, I think I will read more( luckily Dead in the Water is part of a series featuring  DCI Frank Merlin).

I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion

DCI Frank Merlin must solve a few murders in wartime London while dealing with the seedy underside of London’s crime scene, corruption, and Americans. The US military now has permission to manage the crimes of their own in the UK but much to Merlin’s despair this includes bringing their prejudices as well.

But this is world war two so his suspects also include spies, double agents, art dealers and victims of Nazi atrocities. I couldn’t figure out who the murderer was right till the final reveal.

Merlin and his team are decent and normal people- I loved how Merlin takes the time to spend time with his  wife and baby rather than the usual obsessional detectives I tend to read about. Merlin’s reactions to the discrimination faced by Black soldiers from their own colleagues was well written and adds another layer to what could have been a simple murder mystery

The author writes vividly and I enjoyed reading how the complicated political world in Europe where some countries remained neutral. The descriptions of the underlying corruption and crime that was unfortunately present in London show a different side to the Blitz.

Content warning

 Descriptions of Racism and anti-semitism, domestic violence.

Perfect for fans of

Anyone who loves crime fiction.

GENRE: Historical crimeS

Series: DCI Frank Merlin

Source: Midas and Headline Accent

Publication Date: 19 May 2022

About the author

Mark Ellis is a thriller writer from Swansea and a former barrister and entrepreneur. He grew up under the shadow of his parents’ experience of the Second World War. His father served in the wartime navy and died a young man. His mother told him stories of watching the heavy bombardment of Swansea from the safe vantage point of a hill in Llanelli, and of attending tea dances in wartime London under the bombs and doodlebugs. 

In consequence Mark has always been fascinated by WW2 and in particular the Home Front and the fact that while the nation was engaged in a heroic endeavour, crime flourished. Murder, robbery, theft, rape and corruption were rife. This was an intriguing, harsh and cruel world – the world of DCI Frank Merlin. Mark Ellis is a member of several writers organisations including the Crime Writers’ Association and Crime Cymru. The third novel in his historical detective series, Merlin at War, was on the CWA Historical Dagger Longlist in 2018.

#DeadInTheWater | @MarkEllis15 |

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