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Thursday 14 October 2021

‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ by Aline Templeton

Published by Hodder & Stoughton,
26 June 2008.
ISBN: 978-0-340-92228-6

A proposed superstore development has divided the once peaceful town of Kirkluce in Scotland. The casting vote lies with the land owner Colonel Andrew Carmichael, but will he agree to sell the land or not?   The development is not just a matter of the march of progress onto a quiet town, it will kill the Craft Centre and strike at the livelihoods of Romy Kyle, Ellie Burnett and Alanna Patterson. Feelings are running high as the townsfolk gather in the church hall to hear the ALCO spokesman state the supermarket proposal. But there is more than just the controversy of a proposed supermarket development disturbing the town’s peace – a group of teenage bikers are creating havoc in the streets, and by way of a change terrorising an old lady who lives on a remote farm.

This is a book rich in characters, demonstrating the catastrophic effect of disturbing influences on the ordinary person, and what can happen when they are pushed to breaking point. As someone who lives alone in the country, I found the terrorisation of the old lady particularly disturbing.  How does one deal with that sort of threat, what recourse does one have.

There are two killings, and DI Margery Flemming can find no link between them – surely they don’t have two murderers in their midst.  Even though she has her hands full, she is still keeping Tam MacNee out of the investigation until he is signed off as fit for work. But Tam’s a wily bugger and can’t resist sniffing around. On a personal level, Big Marge (as she is known) has a few of her own problems, one being a teenage daughter who seems to be in with the wrong crowd – aren’t they always.

Dealing ably with the situations that seem to arise everywhere in today’s society, this is the type of book which stays with you long after you have closed the last page.  Highly recommended.

Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes

Aline Templeton grew 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.

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