At a dark place in Edinburgh’s heart, secrets refuse to lie dormant.
At Police Scotland HQ, Grace Macallan has pitched up in Counter Corruption. But the demons of her past are never far behind.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh’s gangland is in turmoil. As a new breed of upstarts challenges the old criminal order, their battle for territory causes serious havoc.
Into the war steps DI Janet Hadden. Ambitious, hardbitten and addicted to risk-taking, she knows how to throw opponents off balance. But when she’s thwarted, Hadden seeks help from a notorious underworld fixer, a man who keeps secrets but always extracts a price.
Beset by violence and double-crossing, Grace is soon embroiled in a savage game of cat and mouse with colleagues and criminals alike. With all sides driven by dark desires, theirs is an endgame that will take Grace down unless she holds her nerve. Credit to the back of the book and Amazon Buy it here……
It doesn’t seem like five minutes since I finished Where No Shadows Fall, the fourth in the Grace Macallan series of crime thrillers.
I’d made the effort to read no 1 Cause of Death, as my pre-requisite minimum to find out the genesis of the characters. After WNSF I went to on read the 2nd Evidence of Death and 3rd Shores of Death and thoroughly enjoyed them both as they’re both excellent novels in their own right.
There is a continuing development of Grace’s character and life after Cause of Death the connections she makes in and out side of Police Scotland; her relationships with colleagues and journalists alike. Whilst we lose some people along the way we gain new ones who become part of the fabric of these novels. She doesn’t feature as much in this one as the others but as you’ll know she has changed her life and her role in Police Scotland
That doesn’t detract as the big-hitter for me is the way Peter Ritchie builds up the gangland characters; in their most fiendish and ultimately misguided genius – as we see time and time again in these novels their naivety; and we’re all saying to ourselves as we read – how can they possibly get away with this? Who would know this paradigm unless they’d been around the block chasing down these guys.
This isn’t a whodunnit; it’s how and when will the world fall in around them? Big Arthur Hamilton, his son-in-law Dominic Grainger and low-level criminals like Tonto – Davy McGill and plenty more I won’t mention.
Then there is the central protagonist DI Janet Hadden – I quote from the book…
A call from the head teacher and a tense meeting made Hadden’s parents realise their daughter was never going to be someone who loved easily or would be loved by others. …..their friends and acquaintances, whose common agreement was that Janet Hadden was a ‘strange yin’
She threw herself into sports and martial arts.
So we jump forward to the present – she’s hit a ceiling in her career – what’s that down to? She’s cold and calculating so to get ahead she decides to cross the thin blue line to see if she can play both ends against the middle. She introduces herself to a successful criminal. This is where the book basically starts to develops.
I think she misses one vital thing – the criminals are doing what they do because they are fundamentally dishonest and can’t be trusted as far as even, she, a martial arts expert can throw them.
This isn’t a procedural either; we know what’s going on from 360 degrees throughout it’s just a question of when will their respective house-of-cards fall down.
This one gets my five-gold-star award because there’s a bloody good old fashioned yarn on these pages full of intrigue, murder, double-deceit, threat, violence and cunning at play from all angles in this page-turner which I read in double-quick time.
Fast-paced and gripping from start to finish I never wanted to put the book down and that despite my wife catching up on a very popular fantasy TV series whilst I read – Peter Ritchie won for me, he’s my king beyond the wall (Hadrian’s of course).
my thanks to Peter Ritchie and Black & White for the preview copy; it’s always a pleasure and also an accolade to be actually quoted on the inside cover of OLS from my blog of WNSF. Keep them coming Mr Ritchie I am waiting ….. we are all waiting!
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