An Unsafe Pair of Hands

An Unsafe Pair of Hands by Chris Dolley

A DCI Shand Mystery
by Chris Dolley
$3.99 (Novel) ISBN 978-1-61138-110-8

“I gave up sleep so that I could read to the surprising and satisfying ending.” – Barth Siemens

An Unsafe Pair of Hands is a quirky murder mystery set in rural England charting the descent and rise of a detective on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Peter Shand is the ‘safe pair of hands’ – a high-flying police administrator seconded to a quiet rural CID team to gain the operational experience he needs for promotion. On his second day he’s thrust into a high-profile murder case. A woman’s body is discovered in an old stone circle – with another woman buried beneath her.

The pressure on Shand is enormous. The case is baffling. There appears to be no link between the two crimes. The media is clamouring for answers. And Shand’s convinced his wife is having an affair with someone called Gabriel.

Which just happens to be the name of the two chief suspects. Both are womanisers, and both mention a mystery woman – who sounds suspiciously like Shand’s wife – as their alibi. The pressure builds. Shand can’t sleep, a local journalist is out to discredit him, his wife is about to be dragged into the case and then, goaded at a press conference about lack of progress, he invents a lead. And keeps on lying – to the press, his boss, his team – telling himself that he’ll solve the case before anyone finds out.

And then another murder occurs. And had there been a third?

Shand begins to doubt his ability. He’s desperate, increasingly unpredictable, pursued by an amorous psychic, and somehow gaining a reputation for arresting livestock.

Which will break first? The case, or Shand?

Read a sample


“This book started off with a bang and sped quickly down a steep hill with more twists than a twisty thing. I really enjoyed this book and could hardly put it down!”

—Diane Johnstone

“I gave up sleep so that I could read to the surprising and satisfying ending. I laughed out loud in public in response to the quirky plot twists. An Unsafe Pair of Hands by Chris Dolley is a masterful addition to the British mystery genre.”

—Barth Siemens

“This mystery is so much fun. The humor is delightful and the plot is complex enough to keep you turning pages to the end. And the characters are marvelous, from the snobby London “incomers” the Marchants to The Moleman and even a cock-a-doodle-dooing chicken, all of whom are suspects at one time or other. This is by far one of the best summer reads of 2011.”