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Tuesday 9 November 2021

‘Evil For Evil’ by Aline Templeton

Published by Allison & Busby,
September 2013.
ISBN: 978-0-7490-1345-5

When Matt Lovatt and his wife Lisa first came to Lovatt island off the coast of Scotland they thought it a paradise, but things changed when their baby died. Now Lisa only goes to the island to visit her dead baby. The discovery of a skeleton shackled to the rocks on the island brings unwanted attention, and Detective Inspector Marjory Fleming and her team to investigate what they assume to be a skeleton from the past. But soon they are aware that this is a more recent killing.

As DI Margery (Big Marge) Fleming and her trusty side-kick DS Tam Macnee investigate they quickly become aware of some mysterious events which seem directed against Major Matt Lovatt. Although the villagers are reluctant to talk to the police it is clear that there is much bad feeling towards him. Both disgruntled Steve Donaldson - who was refused a lease on Lovatt Island when Matt Lovatt inherited it - and Derek Sorley - whom Matt had thrown off the island when he found him using a metal detector to search for gold - feel deep rooted resentment and take every opportunity to make Matt’s life difficult. The villagers are little help, being a small, introverted community reluctant to speak to outsiders.

Seemingly unconnected to these events is Elena and Eddie Tinsdall. She has deep secrets. He adores her and is terrified of losing her.

In her personal life Big Marge is struggling to juggle her demanding job with her home-life. Her only daughter Cat (Catriona) is leaving home to take up her place at university. Caught up in the murder enquiry, Marjory is unaware that her daughter’s life takes a nose-dive on her first night away from home, leaving her unable to cope with her first week at university. Son Cammie also has a shock in store for his parents.

The mystery had me completely foxed and kept me avidly turning pages to the end.

The skilful drawing together of the many threads was masterly. And the personal aspects of the lives of the characters made for enthralling reading. The Smugglers Inn, landlady, Charlie Jack recovering from the horrors of serving in Afghanistan. MacNee meeting again his old enemy from the past. And Brodie Kerr intent on revenge. All make for a compelling read.
Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes
Earlier books in the series are: Cold in the Earth, The Darkness and the Deep, Lying Dead, Lamb to the Slaughter, Dead in the Water, and Cradle to Grave.

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. Her most recent series features DCI Kelso Strang, officer in charge of Police Scotland’s Serious Rural Crime Squad. Devil’s Garden is the third book in the series.

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