As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Allison and Busby, 18 January 2018. ISBN:
A detective inspector with serious amounts of emotional baggage; a
sidekick with too much enthusiasm and plenty of attitude; a new police initiative
with the potential for travel to locations guaranteed to make any investigation
more difficult. Does that sound like the set-up for a new series?
It certainly does, and Aline
Templeton is just the author to make it work. Human Face introduces DI
Kelso Strang, newly returned to Police Scotland after compassionate leave
following the death of his pregnant wife in a car accident. He's still
grieving, and it's bad for morale, so his boss, the redoubtable but
soft-centred DCS Jane Borthwick, packs him off to Skye to test-drive the new
mobile Serious Rural Crimes initiative on a missing person case.
The case involves a small
charity with its HQ on the island, run by smooth charmer Adam Carnegie and
ingenuous Beatrice Lacey – and though everything seems straightforward at
first, it soon proves to be a lot more complicated than Strang expected. Eva,
the missing woman, is one of a series of Eastern European 'housekeepers'
brought in by Carnegie; and Daniel Tennant, the temporary resident who reported
her disappearance, turns out not to be an author as he claims, but something a
Skye is a small island, and
before long it appears that just about everyone in the vicinity has a partto play; the gossip machine works overtime,
and among his other efforts, Strang finds himselfpicking hard facts out of rumour and hearsay.
And then there's Livvy Murray, the local constable, a trouble-magnet from
Glasgow who has been banished to the Isles for some wrongdoing which is never
specified; she's a little too keen to show her true worth, and resents being
consigned to carrying coffee and organizing cleaners.
It's hard to say which is
Aline Templeton's greatest skill: meticulously drawn, rounded characters with
rich backstories, awe-inspiring landscapes which change from brooding to
glorious in minutes, or plots with more strands and layers than the Bayeux
Tapestry. The result is even greater than the sum of the parts: a pacy
storyline with bags of atmosphere and undercurrents, peopled by characters you
either loathe or want to know better.
There are even enough loose
ends to make a follow-up inevitable, and if the Serious Rural Crimes squad
takes off, Kelso Strang could soon take his place at the centre of a
long-running series. I sincerely hope he does.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
up in the fishing village of Anstruther, on the east coast of Scotland not far
from St Andrews. The memories of beautiful scenery and a close community
inspired her to set the Marjory Fleming series in a place very like that –
rural Galloway, in the south-west of Scotland. After attending Cambridge
University to read English she taught for a few years. She now
writes full-time and lives in Edinburgh in a house with a balcony built by an
astronomer to observe the stars, with a splendid view of the castle and the
beautiful city skyline.
Lynne Patrick has been a
writer ever since she could pick up a pen, and has enjoyed success with short
stories, reviews and feature journalism, but never, alas, with a novel. She
crossed to the dark side to become a publisher for a few years, and is proud to
have launched several careers which are now burgeoning. She lives on the edge
of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with books, about half of them crime