Detective Inspector Shona Oliver is a busy woman with many irons in the fire. Recently moved to Dumfries, Scotland from London, she is married and the mother of a teenage daughter. She lives in a beautiful location overlooking the Solway Firth in a house that she and her husband, Rob run as a B&B business. In her ‘spare’ time she is part of the crew of the LRNI lifeboat station near her home.
Shona and Rob’s marriage is under strain. They both harbour secrets…
When Shona retrieves the dead body of a young woman in her capacity as LRNI lifeboat crew, she then is tasked with investigating the death in conjunction with the Cumbria Police. The Solway Firth and Solway sandbanks marks the border between England and Scotland, and cases often cross over jurisdictions.Shona loves the Dumfriesshire area and wants this fresh start to work out for her family. She works in Dumfries and is a member of the Dumfries CID. He colleagues call her “Wee Shona“, but in a respectful way. They are cognizant of her strength and ethics and admire her. Shona’s superior, DCI Baird, is not someone she respects and only seems to concern himself with solve rates, budgets, and furthering his own career. Baird wants Shona to ignore the case of the murdered young woman and let Cumbria handle it. Meanwhile, Shona’s team are working on a spate of thefts of baby milk. (baby formula to those from North America)“In Dark Water” marks the beginning of what I believe to be a promising new Scottish noir police procedural series.
The setting, characters, and plot were all well developed and the story immersive. It touched on some serious themes such as people smuggling, the drug trade, and police corruption.
I relished the fine balance given to the book’s coverage of Shona Oliver’s home life and work life, and as a reader, I was equally invested in both.
This first book in a proposed series introduced several interesting characters who worked under DI Shona Oliver and I can see some great potential to further expand on these characters in future books.
The plot was cleverly executed and the ending tied up the several plot lines in a neatly wrapped package.
This is a series that I intend to follow for as long as it runs. Highly recommended!
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Canelo Crime via NetGalley.
Publication date: June 24, 2021 Publisher: Canelo Crime
ISBN: 9781800324312 ASIN: B08ZD85G57 274 pages
Glasgow-born Lynne McEwan is a former newspaper photographer turned crime author. She’s covered stories including the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the first Gulf War in addition to many high profile murder cases. She currently lives in Lincoln, England and is in the final year of an MA in Crime Fiction at the University of East Anglia.
Follow Lynne McEwan on Twitter @LynneJMcEwan