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Sunday, 12 July 2020

‘No Place to Die’ by Neil Broadfoot

Published by Little Brown Group,
7 April 2020.
ISBN: 978-1-4721-2762-4 (PB)

Asset-stripper turned self-help guru Blair Charlston is hosting a celebrity weekend in a top-market hotel near Stirling, but someone’s determined he won’t make it through the weekend alive.

This novel is a fast-moving read. Each chapter is short, 3-4 pages, focuses on one of half a dozen key characters, and ends on a teaser or question which will be answered several chapters on, so you need to keep your wits about you as you move from character to character. Connor Fraser is the main protagonist, ex-police and now the director of Sentinal Securities. He’s young, fit and well able to cope with anything the bad guys throw at him; he’s less confident with the women in his life, his grandmother who slips in and out of dementia, his hoped-for love interest Jen, and ambitious reporter Donna. The plot really gets going when Donna’s called by a former colleague; he wants to spill the beans about Charlston, but when she arrives at his house, he’s dead – bludgeoned to death. The action is fast, the body count high, the deaths gory (particularly the big fire scene) and there’s a good sense of place.

A roller-coaster ride of speedy twists and turns, with a cast of interesting characters. This is the second book starring Connor Fraser, and there are a number of spoilers for the previous book in the opening chapters, so you might want to begin with the first, No Man’s Land.
Reviewer:Marsali Taylor

Neil Broadfoot worked as a journalist for fifteen years at both national and local newspapers, covering some of the biggest stories of the day. A poacher turned gamekeeper, he has since moved into communications: providing media relations advice for a variety of organisations, from Strathclyde Fire & Rescue Service to high profile sporting clubs in Scotland. He's now working as a communications officer for the Scottish Government. Neil is married to Fiona and a father to two girls, meaning he's completely outnumbered in his own home. He lives in Dunfermline, the setting for his first job as a local reporter.
Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.
 Click on the title to read a review of her recent book Death on a Shetland Isle

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