Coffin Road by Peter May

iuA man stands bewildered on a deserted beach on the Hebridean Isle of Harris. He cannot remember who he is. The only clue to his identity is a folded map of a path named the Coffin Road. He does not know where this search will take him.

A detective from Lewis sits aboard a boat, filled with doubt. DS George Gunn knows that a bludgeoned corpse has been discovered on a remote rock twenty miles offshore. He does not know if he has what it takes to uncover how and why.

A teenage girl lies in her Edinburgh bedroom, desperate to discover the truth about her scientist father’s suicide. Two years on, Karen Fleming still cannot accept that he would willfully abandon her. She doesn’t yet know his secret.

Coffin Road follows three perilous journeys towards one shocking truth – and the realization that ignorance can kill us.

Another great book by Peter May. Great tension, atmosphere and character. Except for the teenage girl. It was a little unbelievable for me and the relationship didn’t come across as that close somehow to me either. But, the book is still an excellent read. Hard to put down. I’m curious if you’ve read it what you thought of the teenager part, don’t want to give away anything here for those of you who haven’t read it.

The whole mystery is wrapped up in bees and what’s killing them. Lots of interesting stuff in this one, folks! Although this is a stand-alone book DS Gunn from the Lewis Trilogy is the main law enforcement character in this one. Fin and Marsaili are mentioned once too. It was nice revisiting the characters. A nice touch!

Here’s a nice article about this book in The Scotsman if your interested! Counts towards Read Scotland 2017 on Goodreads

Blood in the Glens

True Crime from the Scottish Highlands by Jean McLennan

Blood in the Glens is a fascinating collection of true crime stories from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Murders and unexplained deaths happen wherever there are people and, despite its sparse population, the Highlands have had more than their fair share.

Now Jean McLennan investigates some of the most chilling crimes committed in the north over the last sixty years. There’s ‘The Casanova Killer’, ‘The Butler Did It’,’The Ladies’ Man’ and  ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt’, the case of Totsie Sutherland who was brutally murdered on the Black Isle. And there are the unsolved crimes which still baffle detectives and the public, like the high-profile murder of banker Alistair Wilson in Nairn who was shot on his own doorstep in 2004. Police did eventually recover the gun used in this horrific killing, but no motive has ever been discovered and the killer is still free.

This is a unique collection of cases from the north and an intriguing and authoritative look at the background to each crime, the motives of those involved, the crimes themselves and their repercussions.

This was a good read! Ms. McLennan is a retired lawyer and honorary sheriff in Wick. She explains the workings of Scottish law and their judicial system, which is quite different from England and the US. The cases she chose to include were interesting and varied. I always thought Scotland didn’t have much of a murder rate but when you compare the numbers, US population of 322,762,018 (as of the end of 2017) to Scotland’s 5,373,000 (4/2016) it’s probably fairly comparable to us.

I’ve been to many of the places where these crimes took place and it made it that much more interesting to read about them! It was a real education in peeking in on how they worked a case and solved it in such vast and difficult terrain in the Highlands. You should try to get a copy if you like true crime!




Murder at the Old Vicarage by Jill McGown

1454913‘A killing blow on the head took the life of Graham Elstow, and the vicar and his wife were more relieved than grieved by their son-in-law’s death. Elstow had beaten their beloved daughter, Joanna, so severely only a few months earlier that she had landed in the hospital, and he had struck her again on the day he died. But murder they deplored, especially in their own home on Christmas Eve.

Much, much worse, it was distressingly clear that the killer had to be someone very close to the household. Yet each of the three was prepared to swear that neither of the other two had had the opportunity to kill Elstow.

It looks like it’s up to that canny police duo of Inspector Lloyd and Detective Sergeant Judy Hill then, to wander through a maze of self-confessed killers, myriad motives, and their own frustrating partnership, to find a murderer with a message…’

This one is the second in the Lloyd and Hill series. I thought it was the first 😦 but it was fine to read on its own. I really enjoyed it. I liked the two detectives and the puzzle was excellent, it could have been any one of them. McGown did a great job of keeping you off balance until the very end. Its one you’ll keep saying just one more chapter until you’ve finished it! My library system has all her books! So I’ll be starting with #1 and reading them in order.

*This book was originally published in 1988 in the UK under the title Redemption. It counts toward Vintage Scavenger Hunt Silver Era for ‘other type of weapon’ and also for Read Scotland 2017 as Ms. McGown was born in Argyll Scotland.