Dark Waters by G R Halliday

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Dark Waters by G R Halliday

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: It's the second book in the D I Monica Kennedy series but it reads perfectly well as a stand alone. An engaging and horrific read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 432 Date: July 2020
Publisher: Harvill Secker
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1787301436

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Twenty-two-year-old Annabelle Whittaker made her second mistake when she opted to drive down the private road in Glen Turrit. It was a long road through some breath-taking scenery and she could push the car to its limits without fear of being caught speeding. When the blond child stepped out in front of her she instinctively jerked the steering wheel and hit a tree. When she came round after the accident she couldn't work out where she was, but it obviously wasn't a conventional hospital. She'd made her first mistake some time ago, although the realisation wouldn't be obvious to her for a long time. She'd made it when she chose to have her father buy her a pale blue BMW M4.

DI Monica Kennedy had just returned to the major incident team after a spell with traffic after her last, traumatic case. She's worried about how her daughter, four-year-old Lucy, will adjust. There are already some warning signs that all is not well, but Monica doesn't know whether it's just the normal process of growing up or something she should be concerned about. Her mother is helping with Lucy, but there's an atmosphere between Monica and her mother: they really should talk about what happened between Monica and her late father, but some things are easy to put off.

Her first case is a body found in the river, with missing limbs. At first, it looked as though it might have been something that happened post-mortem, but Dr Dolohov, the pathologist soon put paid to that theory. And then another body was found in the river, also with missing limbs. DCs Connor Crawford and Ben Fisher are keen to impress, but something's worrying the normally imperturbable Ben Fisher - and it's affecting his work.

There are no spoilers for the first book in the series, but it's obvious that what happened was horrific. This case is going the same way: it's Scottish noir at its gripping best. The folk of Glen Turrit (thankfully, it's fictional) live a life largely divorced from societal norms in the shadow of the Aigas power station dam. They're a law unto themselves. People have gone missing before in the area, but it's been put down to the legend of the Affric men.

Monica Kennedy felt very real to me. She's a single parent, struggling to do her best by her daughter and to do the best for the job. I remember those days well and Halliday captures the feelings perfectly. There's the added complication for Kennedy in that her job is often dangerous: her death would leave Lucy an orphan, but it won't, can't stop her from doing what she needs to do. There's a history there that means that she has to do it right. I loved too that when Kennedy, Fisher and Crawford are together, it's Monica who's the tall one.

It's a good plot too: I didn't catch on to some of the connections until the were spelt out for me, despite all the clues being there. Some of the scenes are horrific and this wouldn't normally be my cup of tea, but there's nothing too gratuitous. A good read - and I'd like to thank the publishers for allowing the Bookbag to have a review copy.

The location - the glans of Northern Scotland comes across well. For more from the are we can recommend The Red, Red Snow by Caro Ramsay. You might also enjoy All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker.

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Buy Dark Waters by G R Halliday at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dark Waters by G R Halliday at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Dark Waters by G R Halliday at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dark Waters by G R Halliday at Amazon.com.

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