Wow, talk about a sense of place. I've read about The Aleutian Islands before but never quite in this manner. During the first chapter the reader is utterly transported to a trawler, in the middle of a storm, off that chain of islands, and it's rivetting. This is why I love to read crime books that are set around the world... for me it's another method of armchair travelling, every bit as effective as reading non-fiction travel writing. Fantastic. I learnt about fishing in the Bering Sea and how merciless it can be for the men who do it. I learnt some of the history of the Native American Aleuts - how they were moved off various islands during the war and so on. (I would be interested in finding out more about that.) And all the while enjoying an excellent murder mystery story. That aspect kept me guessing all the way through and the danger Kate was in throughout the book was real edge of the seat stuff. What more could you possibly want from a murder mystery? Brilliant. So glad I went back to this series.
Next up is The Woman who Walked into the Sea by Mark Douglas-Home, book two in his 'Sea Detective' series.
Goodness, what a brilliant series this is. (I say 'series', so far there are only two books and I can't discover whether book three is actually out yet... possibly this May?) I thought the first book, The Sea Detective was really excellent but, if anything, I think this one was even better. Book one had a lot of threads going on and you had to keep your wits about you to keep up. Not so this one, which was all about Violet Wells and her search for the truth about what happened to her mother. The story is full of family secrets and loaded with some very odd characters indeed. People are not what they seem and it's intriguing and compulsive reading. Add to that the setting of the coastline of Wester Ross and you have the perfect book for me. We saw a bit of that area in 2014 and I fell head over heals for the sheer beauty and grandeur of the area. It's a character in the book as much as any of the people and is portrayed so well, no reader could fail to be transported to the west coast of Scotland while reading it. I literally cannot wait for the third book to come out. I love, love, love this series... what a terrific writer Mark Douglas-Home is and I'm so happy to have discovered his writing.
And just to finish, a couple of photos I took in 2014 of the area around Ullapool from this post.