Scottish Field - - COVER TO COVER -

ORION Brooke Mag­nanti’s first stab at a crime thriller hits all the must-haves of the genre – se­crets, lies... and dead bod­ies. Pro­tag­o­nist Erykah Mac­don­ald had lit­tle to call her own grow­ing up, but she turned things around and has a ‘nice’ life now – the kind of life you’re meant to want; pleas­ant house, good friends... But some­thing’s not right. Stash­ing lit­tle bits of money away here and there, she watches her hus­band leave for work ev­ery morn­ing, but she knows he’s not go­ing to the of­fice. As her 20th wed­ding an­niver­sary ap­proaches, she’s about to cross a line. Sev­eral hun­dred miles away, young cou­ple Daniel and Maya are en­joy­ing a ro­man­tic week­end away in the Scot­tish He­brides, kayak­ing around Skye. With a ring weigh­ing heavy in Daniel’s pocket, it was al­ways go­ing to be a hol­i­day to re­mem­ber. And so it turns out, but not in the way either had hoped. In the shal­low wa­ters off the is­land of Raasay, the ath­letic love­birds stum­ble across a

‘Mag­nanti’s easy-to-read prose and com­pelling plot make this a must read for crime thriller fans and those who en­joy dis­cov­er­ing hid­den depths of char­ac­ters’

body. Sub­merged be­neath the sur­face, it’s been in the wa­ter long enough to make iden­ti­fi­ca­tion tricky, but it’s clear this is no ac­ci­den­tal death.

Back in Lon­don, Erykah knows she’s about to make a choice you can’t re­verse. But she’s lived with se­crets most of her life any­way – she thinks she’s ready. The trou­ble is, there are far worse se­crets than her own about to emerge.

From the gur­ney of a morgue in the High­lands, to the me­dia cir­cus of the na­tional press, via the seem­ingly calm sub­urbs of Lon­don to the pow­er­plays in West­min­ster, a net is tight­en­ing. And it seems that those caught in it are will­ing to kill to get out with their rep­u­ta­tions in­tact. Erykah must work out what she’s ca­pa­ble of if she’s go­ing to keep her head above wa­ter.

The first of its kind from Mag­nanti, aka award-win­ning blog­ger Belle de Jour, this in­trigu­ing tale suc­ceeds in suck­ing the reader in from the first pages. Hav­ing re­ceived a Ph.D. in Foren­sic Pathol­ogy from the Univer­sity of Sh­effield, where she stud­ied in the Medico Le­gal Cen­tre and spe­cialised in the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of de­com­posed hu­man re­mains, the au­thor’s know-how comes through in the au­thor­i­ta­tive nar­ra­tive de­scrib­ing pow­er­ful and grue­some scenes when her vic­tims are laid out on the slab at the morgue, while Mag­nanti’s real-life ex­pe­ri­ences at the cen­tre of a me­dia storm are also drawn on when Erykah’s hus­band ap­par­ently wins the lot­tery, and they are thrust un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously into the pub­lic eye, with Erykah’s past in­evitably com­ing back to haunt her.

Par­tially set in the fa­mil­iar, con­tem­po­rary land­scape of post-ref­er­en­dum Scot­land, and fea­tur­ing the aptly-named Morag Munro, a par­tic­u­larly en­ter­tain­ing High­land MP who’s so bad she’s bril­liant, this en­gag­ing mys­tery spins a web of po­lit­i­cal du­plic­ity and de­cep­tion. Mag­nanti’s easy-to-read prose and com­pelling plot make this a must read for crime thriller fans, as well as those who en­joy dis­cov­er­ing the hid­den depths of well-writ­ten char­ac­ters and plenty of in­trigue.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.