The Low Road by A.D. Scott

Book 5 in The Highland Gazette Mystery Series
326 pages

‘John McAllister has come to a crossroads, torn between the stability of his life in the Highlands and the thrill of working as a renowned journalist in Glasgow at a national daily newspaper. Can he accept that this exciting new phase is over? That it is time to settle down?

Before he knows it, McAllister is in the midst of a fast-paced hunt for his good friend Jimmy McPhee, who is involved in a blood feud with a murderous razor gang. With a fiercely ambitious young crime reporter, he tracks down Jimmy, but the gang finds them. Only when another violent clash breaks out do they have the chance to escape. Soon McAllister finds himself in danger of losing everything he holds dear—his mother, his fiancée, his friends, his integrity, and his life.

And Joanne Ross, recovering from horrific injuries, senses McAllister’s ambivalence about their forthcoming marriage, and she knows she can only wait for him to return to her.

From the wilderness of the Highlands to the desolation of Glasgow’s slums, book five in Scott’s mystery series is a portrait of extremes: between city and glen; between the rule of law and the laws of the streets; between safe, enduring love and unreasoning passion.’

This is my favorite series. The characters and place are so vibrant and alive. The plot is always excellent and the ending always a big twist that leaves you saying ‘Holy Cow!!’. This one is still excellent, perfect characterization and full of atmosphere, but I was disappointed that so much of the story did not include the old team working together and Joanne was in the background. The wonderful ensemble cast from the Highland Gazette was what made this series. In this one John goes to Glasgow and a new paper and new reporters are introduced. There’s even a new woman in John’s life that he struggles with his feelings for. Will he go back to Joanne and the Gazette or stay in Glasgow with Mary?  After The North Sea Requiem left us with a seriously injured Joanne and an emotionally distraught Rob I felt a little let down that we didn’t get to focus on their stories and their healing. 

I did like getting more of a look at John’s family and his life growing up. I liked his mom.  Such a difference between his life in Glasgow and his life now in a small Highland town. This tale in Glasgow at the big city paper The Herald would be a great series on it’s own, but not with our John from the Gazette!  

Bringing Jimmy McPhee into Glasgow and the rough gangs and bare knuckle boxing was exciting and we feared for his life on every page. A price on his head had him running and hiding for his life. But why was there a price on his head? They won’t know until they find out who put it there. Can they save Jimmy or will his luck run out this time?

This book ended with a not so big bang, that I saw coming this time, and I felt all ends wrapped up. Just wondering if this is the last of the series. So sad if it is!

You can read an excerpt at the publisher’s site.

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