After a fierce storm hits Scotland, a mysterious cargo ship is discovered in the Orkney Isles. Boarding the vessel uncovers three bodies, recently deceased and in violent circumstances. Forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod’s study of the crime scene suggests that a sinister game was being played on board, but who were the hunters? And who the hunted?
Meanwhile in Glasgow DS Michael McNab is called to a horrific incident where a young woman has been set on fire. Or did she spark the flames herself?
As evidence arises that connects the two cases, the team grow increasingly concerned that the truth of what happened on the ship and in Glasgow hints at a wider conspiracy that stretches down to London and beyond to a global stage. Orcadian Ava Clouston, renowned investigative journalist, believes so and sets out to prove it, putting herself in grave danger.
When the Met Police challenge Police Scotland’s jurisdiction, it becomes obvious that there are ruthless individuals who are willing to do whatever it takes to protect government interests. Which could lead to even more deaths on Scottish soil . . .
The Killing Tide is the 16th book in Lin Anderson’s Scottish crime thriller series featuring forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod. It’s the first of the series I’ve read, and whilst there are plenty of callbacks to earlier books, it’s easily readable as a standalone.
Storm Burka delivers a seemingly abandoned cargo ship to the shores of Orkney, though of course there’s more to it than meets the eye. There are bodies on board – enter Rhona MacLeod to help unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding their deaths.
I really enjoyed this book. The plotting is intricate and intriguing, and the strands of the investigations into the bodies aboard the abandoned ship and the woman set alight in Glasgow play out to a satisfying conclusion.
The characters are great too. We get a lot of glimpses into the history of MacLeod and DS McNab throughout this book which have taken place in earlier books, and I look forward to delving back (if that makes sense!) into those stories soon. MacLeod in particular is a fascinating character, strong and driven, determined to figure out the truth. The story moves between the viewpoints of MacLeod, McNab and investigative journalist Ava Clouston, and I really liked the way the story unfolded between the three of them.
Regular readers will know how much I love a book with a good sense of place, and The Killing Tide delivers just that. You can almost feel the storm lashing the windows of the cottages on Orkney, and the damp streets of Glasgow as we follow our investigators tracking down clues.
It’s not a book for the faint-hearted – there are some dark moments along the way as you’d expect from any good crime story!
The Killing Tide by Lin Anderson is published by Pan Macmillan and is out now. Many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour, and to the publisher for the copy of the book to review.