The Gathering Dark: Inspector MacLean #8 by James Oswald #TuesdayBookBlog

A truck driver loses control in central Edinburgh, ploughing into a crowded bus stop and spilling his vehicle’s toxic load. The consequences are devastating.

DI Tony McLean witnesses the carnage.

Taking control of the investigation, he soon realises there is much that is deeply amiss – and everyone involved seems to have something to hide.

But as McLean struggles to uncover who caused the tragedy, a greater crisis develops: The new Chief Superintendent’s son is missing, last seen in the area of the crash . . .

My Review

Returning to the crime investigations of Inspector MacLean always gives me mixed feelings. The plot is never straightforward but likeable Tony MacLean will explore every possible lead to bring the culprit to justice. But there is always a supernatural dimension to each case which can be quite unnerving.

The Gathering Dark starts with a horrifying lorry accident in the centre of Edinburgh. Tony MacLean is a witness to the death of 20 people when the lorry crashes into a bus queue spilling out its load of toxic chemicals. When the authorities realise the tanker should have been carrying harmless rotted green waste, terrorism is suspected, but the first task for the police is to identify all the victims.

Tony should be cutting down on his long hours to support his girlfriend, Emma, with her pregnancy but instead he finds himself looking for the missing son of the Chief Superintendent. As investigations continue the reader is aware of someone shadowing Tony and we share the detective’s nightmares. Madam Rose, the transvestite clairvoyant we had grown to trust in previous books in the series, urges him to take care of his family and as before the local cats gather defensively around his house. However, Mrs McCutcheon’s cat, who lives with them, remains inscrutable.

I found myself reading late into the night as this intriguing tale unfolded and was not really surprised by the mixed fortunes of the final chapters. The next book in the series is on my urgent TBR list.

The Gathering Dark at Amazon UK

My Review of Natural Causes the first book in this series.

The Ebb(The Lady of the Pier trilogy~1) by Effrosyni Moschoudi #BookReview

Two girls, two different worlds, one mysterious connection and a love that won’t let go.

Sofia is a good girl, always following the rules of her over-protective family. But this is about to change…

Greece 1987: Sofia Aspioti, a young student, arrives on the idyllic island of Corfu for her annual summer break. Because of her strict upbringing, Sofia is discontented with her life. Her parents expect her to be the model daughter, so she keeps her heart locked away, avoiding boys, to keep herself out of trouble.

When she falls in love with Danny, a charming British tourist, he shows her a fun side of life she becomes addicted to. Now, for the first time, Sofia dares to go against her family’s strict rules, and to follow her heart.  Just as life becomes the sweetest it’s ever been, strange dreams about a woman dressed in black begin to haunt her…

England 1937: Laura Mayfield arrives in Brighton with her ailing mother, her heart full of dreams of wealth and happiness. Life seems kind to her, offering her the chance to perform as the leading star of a musical at the West Pier theatre. But then, an arrogant aristocrat becomes besotted with her, claiming her from Christian, her loving boyfriend. Her new fan’s relentless pursuit repels her, but then Christian makes a grave mistake that causes their love to be put to the ultimate test…

My Review

This sensitively told dual time novel is about two young women 50 years apart. In 1987 Sofia is visiting her grandparents in Corfu. Struggling against her parents’ strict upbringing she relaxes in the loving comfort her grandparents give her. So far immune to romance, this summer a madcap young man from England touches her heart, but will she ever see Danny again when he returns to Brighton. In parallel chapters, set in 1937, we meet Laura moving down from London to the seaside for the sake of her mother’s health. She is lucky to find helpful, kind locals and starts working in a local theatre. She too meets a cheeky young man and soon she and Christian are a couple. Only her ambition and wish for the finer things in life threatens to come between them.  When she is given the opportunity to sing in a successful show their relationship may be doomed.

I felt that I knew and understood each young women and hope for a happy conclusion to their relationships, but I was unsure what linked them except for Brighton. Towards the end of the book, Sofia has disturbing dreams of a woman in black looking out to sea and here may be the clue leading into the next book, The Flow. I would love to have discovered more of Sofia’s family secrets and followed her further into the future, but I must be patient and read the next book!

The Ebb on Amazon UK

My review of My Corfu Love Story by Effrosyni Moschoudi

Bakewell in Derbyshire #WordlessWednesday

Death on the River (Tara Thorpe Mystery Book 2) by Clare Chase #FridayReads #BookReview

When a body is pulled from the deep and watery fens on the outskirts of town, everybody assumes it was a tragic accident. But Detective Tara Thorpe, newly joined and determined to prove herself, suspects there’s more to the story.

Tara is desperate to investigate further, but her supervisor Patrick Wilkins has other ideas. He would rather die than let this ambitious upstart show him up – even if it means some digging in Tara’s carefully concealed past to keep her under his thumb. After all, it’s not like he can report her – everyone knows that his boss Detective Garstin Blake and Tara have a history…

When another body is found, it becomes clear that there’s a killer on the loose. Could the murders be linked to the secrets that Tara has been keeping from her team… and can she solve the case before another innocent dies?

My Review

A few years after the first book in this series Tara Thorpe has abandoned journalism and is now a police constable. The newest detective in Cambridge she has to work for DS Wilkins who is determined to undermine her. This is probably because of her previous connection to their mutual boss, DI Garstin Blake. There is definitely an attraction between the two, but Blake has a wife and child and Tara is concentrating on her new career.

An apparent suicide case, dismissed by Wilkins is reinvestigated by Tara after the victim’s sister approaches her. Ralph Carncross, an unpleasant author with a small cult following, may have been murdered and when another person connected to him dies, she searches for more evidence.

In the previous book, we learnt of Tara’s experiences with a stalker and how she learnt to take care of herself with the help of a former police officer, Paul Kemp. He appears in this novel, as a likeable rough diamond. Working behind the scenes he may still be acting as her protector. Meanwhile we learn of how Blake is trapped in an unhappy marriage. Maintaining his distance, he watches over Tara which proves essential as her investigations lead up to a terrifying conclusion. Another great read.

Death on the River on Amazon UK

My Review of Murder on the Marshes by Clare Chase


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