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  • police procedural as they should be

    In Dumfries, a young solicitor’s wife is stabbed to death in her own house. The husband was covered in blood and his prints are on the knife, but he has an alibi from 2 criminal defence lawyers and a prosecutor from the fiscal office who says that they were playing poker with him at the time of the murder. The 2 children were at the nanny’s house. The local police ask Police Scotland for a Major Enquiries Team and DS Mhairi Mc Leod, DI Frank Farrell and DC Dave Thomson are sent to investigate as ‘the three of them hale from the area’. Both Farrell and Thomson bring their tom-cats along. (as for now I know r's not essential info for the story but merely a side-event, adding a bit of flavour to the soup?) It’s quite clear that something happened during a previous investigation when they all worked for Dumfries police that resulted in the loss of their boss who was also a dear friend. Well, he’s not dead but maybe even worse is that she’s in a semi-conscious coma. Especially Frank is still suffering from this and seeks salvation in drink, what’s not beneficial for his level of functioning. It doesn’t take long before they hear the rumour that Gina was having an affair with another lawyer. But even stranger is the revelation that the poker party was in reality, a 10th anniversary of the death of Colette, yet another lawyer who was engaged with one of them (Peter Swift). She was burned to death in a cottage while the men were staying in a hotel nearby. On top of that, the father of the victim is a retired casino-owner with supposed mob ties. But a couple of days later an elderly dog-walker finds the stabbed body of Aaron, the foster son of one of the witnesses under a bridge. Is someone targeting family members of lawyers? Just any lawyer or only this specific group? … I didn’t read the previous volumes in this series and that didn’t give any serious problems with understanding this storyline. It works as a standalone but I’ve gotten curious about the other stories now, so I’ll probably read them anyway. The characters are realistic and likeable, they’re all a bit flawed as humans tend to be and intriguing enough to wonder how things will evolve in their lives. This is a straight forward police procedural with a crime that needs solving, a few red herrings along the way send you in the wrong direction and a number of lines of inquiry are meticulously investigated and eventually one after the other is excluded. Stubborn sleuthing and perseverance (in this case teamwork) eventually finds the killer. It’s a very well written mystery, you keep on guessing till the end how everything locks together and who the murderer is (well, I had a hunch but didn’t see how it could be done). Sometimes it doesn’t need to be more than that. It’s a very entertaining story and I’ll definitely read more by this author.

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  • Avenge the dead

    The characters are différent with likeable personalities ,

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