Bro­ken Ground ★★★★

Sunday Times - - Review - Michele Mag­wood @michelemag­wood

Val Mc­Der­mid,

Lit­tle Brown, R325

Val Mc­Der­mid is not known as the Queen of Tar­tan Noir for noth­ing — apart from her clev­erly crafted plots she serves up fab­u­lously at­mo­spheric set­tings. In this lat­est of­fer­ing we find our­selves deep in the High­land coun­try­side where a body is un­earthed from a peat bog. As it has ev­i­dently been there so long it falls to DCI Karen Pirie and her his­toric cases unit to solve the mys­tery. Pirie, de­scribed as “a dumpy wee woman with bad hair and ter­ri­ble dress sense” is a de­li­ciously grumpy char­ac­ter, given to such ob­ser­va­tions as “What they needed was sup­port, not some strut­ting Glas­gow keelie who thought he’d been sent to be their saviour.” Rich with idiom and de­scrip­tion, this is a sat­is­fy­ing es­cape.

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