In Plain Sight (D I Clare Mackay) by Marion Todd

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In Plain Sight (D I Clare Mackay) by Marion Todd

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The second book in the series and it's even better than the first. A real pager-turner and an excellent read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 311 Date: February 2020
Publisher: Canelo

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It was a coincidence that Detective Sergeant Chris West and DI Clare Mackay were at the beach when the baby was stolen. They were there for the fun run and their attention was taken by the NEFEW protesters who tried to disrupt the race. They're against the planned McIntosh Water bottled water plant to be constructed on Priory Marsh and the firm is sponsoring the fun run. It was Lisa Mitchell's scream which stopped everything. Her daughter, six-month-old Abi, had been taken from her pram whilst no one was looking. It's a major incident when any child is abducted but Abi needs regular medication because of a heart problem: without it, she might have only forty-eight hours to live.

The Scottish town of St Andrews doesn't have a Detective Chief Inspector on the roster and one would have to be brought in the oversee the investigation. Unfortunately for Chris West, it was Tony McAvettie: they have history from when McAvettie was on the wrong end of a punch delivered by West when the DCI slept with his girlfriend. Clare Mackay will have all on to protect West if there's a repetition and she's worried that there seems to be something amiss in the ongoing relationship between West and PC Sara Stapleton. The one point which gives her hope is that McAvettie is planning his next promotion (or pay increase of £10k a year, which seems to be the bit that interests him) and he's not that invested in the investigation.

I first met DI Clare Mackay in See Them Run and I was impressed. It was the first book in a new series and there was an awful lot to like, so it only took me a moment to decide that I was going to read In Plain Sight. There's always that slight worry that the book won't live up to expectations, but I forgot that very quickly. I was only a few pages in before I was completely hooked. The characterisation is excellent: in See Them Run I was a little concerned that only DS West from Mackay's police team really came off the page, but that wasn't the case this time around. At the end of the book, I was looking forward not, just to the next novel in the series, but to catching up with people I felt I knew.

The location is good too - firmly rooted in the area to the north-east of Edinburgh. Once again Marion Rodd doesn't rely upon - or even really mention - the golfing and university connections: this is simply the place where real people live, work and have their baby stolen. I could walk the streets, smell the sea air and hear the gulls scream.

The plot is good too. It wasn't one where I was tempted to try and work the answers out for myself: I was happy to be along for the ride and to enjoy a very satisfying solution. I'd like to thank the publishers for letting Bookbag have a review copy.

For more crime set in St Andrews, have a look at Eye for an Eye (DCI Andy Gilchrist) by T F Muir.

Marion Todd's DI Clare Mackay novels in Chronological Order

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Buy In Plain Sight (D I Clare Mackay) by Marion Todd at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy In Plain Sight (D I Clare Mackay) by Marion Todd at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy In Plain Sight (D I Clare Mackay) by Marion Todd at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy In Plain Sight (D I Clare Mackay) by Marion Todd at


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