Moorland Forensics – Bound by Polaris


Ted Cartwright is convicted of the murders of five woman on Dartmoor in 1996. All through the trial Ted claims his innocence.

Fifteen years later Muriel Jennings is attacked in her Ashburton home. At the time Muriel is attacked she belonged to a local book club who were reviewing “The Sinner’s Daughter” based on the Dartmoor murders. Moorland Forensics try to establish if Muriel’s death is linked to the Cartwright murders.

A series of unusual revelations and old secrets emerge causing the team to look closely at those involved in the trial of Ted Cartwright. They soon learn not everyone has revealed their true identity and the clock starts ticking to uncover the truth before the killer strikes again. 

Julie D. Jones delivers a murder-mystery set in Devon in which the landscape is as alive as the characters breathing in her prose. Moorland Forensics, Bound by Polaris is an intelligent piece of fiction that will have you guessing until the death.


March 25th 1998 – Dartmoor, a place of rugged beauty.

Dartmoor was tainted by the remains of a harsh winter. Ponies had perished knee deep in snow and a place known for tranquillity was quickly transformed into ugly peril. Even as spring tried to creep to the surface there was nothing endearing about the gale force, Arctic winds howling relentlessly in off the English Channel. Just as the forensic team brought the first body up from the basement, placing it only metres from the front door, a light flurry of snow drifted in; gradually defining every footprint clearly on the crisp, white mantle.

The first body lay shrouded in mystery with no indication of what had taken place out on the vast moor. She was pretty, estimated to be in her late twenties; at this stage she had no name, just a tag around the wrist and ankle labelling her as victim number one. Twenty-three minutes later the fifth and final victim was above ground as the wind chill factor dropped well below zero.

The forensic team set about their work in silence, trying to unravel the truth behind their gruesome discovery. A quick survey indicated all five women had been killed within the last six months. Their untimely deaths so horrific even the chief forensic officer had to turn away at first glance. So bad were the injuries of one victim it would take several months to identify her.

At exactly ten twenty-four Ted Cartwright was handcuffed and marched from the house by two plain clothed detectives. Staring straight ahead his unblinking eyes were two small slits of grey granite. If he had emotion, he didn’t show it.

There was no known motive for the killings and all through the trial Cartwright proclaimed his innocence. He denied ever meeting the victims so how could he possibly have murdered them?

Was there a faint chance Cartwright hadn’t been the one to execute these horrific crimes? Had he been erroneously convicted of the heinous acts?

Almost fifteen years to the day the controversial book centred on those murders was published – The Sinner’s Daughter.

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