EXCERPT: What appeared to be a crude sculpture of a motorbike had been propped upright on one side of the hole, looking like a potential entrant for the Turner prize. Beside it, his torso twisted at the waist, making an awkward angle to his legs, lay their victim. The peat had stained his skin the color of weak coffee, but apart from that, he was as perfectly preserved as a shop window mannequin.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: Alice Somerville’s inheritance lies six feet under in a Highland peat bog – a pair of valuable vintage motorbikes buried by her grandfather at the end of World War II. But when Alice finally organises their recovery, she finds an unwelcome surprise -a body with a pair of bullet holes . . . and Nike trainers. DCI Karen Pirie of Police Scotland’s Historic Cases Unit is called in to unravel a case where nothing is quite as it seems.
Meanwhile an overheard conversation in a cafe draws Karen to the heart of a murder she thought she’d already prevented.
As Karen gets closer to the several truths, it becomes clear that not everyone shares her desire for justice. Or even the idea of what justice is.
MY THOUGHTS: I have read a number of books by this author, but this is my first in this particular series. And while it didn’t set my world on fire, it was a good solid read and I do want to read more.
I like Karen’s character. She is in the minority of female detectives for having no major hang-ups/character flaws. She is a nice normal person who has suffered personal tragedy and is now rebuilding her life. She doesn’t like her boss, and the feeling is entirely mutual. But where her boss isn’t above using dirty methods to try and discredit Karen, Karen has morals and scruples.
The story is told over multiple timelines, and from multiple points of view. But this is well executed and doesn’t cause any confusion.
While I have to admit to finding the writing a little slow paced, the plot was intriguing enough to keep me interested and reading. I also felt that the ending left something to be desired, more in execution than plot. It felt rushed and a little incomplete, hence the not quite 4-star rating.
One particular turn of phrase that has stuck in my mind, and perfectly describes Karen’s predicament is ‘a case from the past that has more holes than a box of doughnuts.’
THE AUTHOR: Val McDermid is a No. 1 bestseller whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages, and have sold over eleven million copies.
She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. She was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame in 2009 and was the recipient of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for 2010. In 2011 she received the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award.
She writes full time and divides her time between Cheshire and Edinburgh.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Grove Atlantic via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Broken Ground by Val McDermid for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2582684214