Anderson, Lin - 'Blood Red Roses' (Unabridged Audiobook) read by Cathleen McCarron
In a similar fashion to the 'Quick Read's' series published as part of the World Book Day (UK and Ireland) celebration, the Scottish Sandstone Press have published a 'Vista Series' aimed at people unaccustomed to reading and people wanting a short book. The current list is available at http://www.sandstonepress.com/ under 'Vistas' and no. 4 is crime writer Lin Anderson's BLOOD RED ROSES. Sandstone Press and W F Howes have teamed up to create a box set containing the print book plus an audio version on both CD and audio tape.
BLOOD RED ROSES, published in 2005, is the prequel to 2003's DRIFTNET which introduced Glasgow forensic scientist, Rhona Macleod.
In the early hours of the morning, after an anniversary party for her colleague DI Bill Wilson, Rhona is called to a murder scene. A young woman on her hen night has been found dead under suspicious circumstances in a night-club's toilets. From the body's death grin, Rhona immediately suspects poisoning. Interviews with the woman's friends and fiance reveal very little but Rhona and Bill wonder how she could afford the enormously expensive wedding dress hanging in her bedroom. And who left the red rose, discarded in the waste paper bin?
In spite of the reluctance of witnesses to help, the truth begins to emerge and then a second young woman is found dead. Rhona uses her CSI skills to discover a vital clue, which leads to the murderer.
BLOOD RED ROSES is an entertaining tale which is quite graphic in parts, as lap dancing is integral to the mystery. We know from the outset that the killer is known to the dead women but their identity is cleverly obscured, especially as there are a limited number of possibilities in a 90 page book. Rhona is fiercely independent but we see her defences go down for a saxophonist called Sean.
Cathleen McCarron provides an excellent narration, as she did for Louise Anderson's PERCEPTION OF DEATH.
BLOOD RED ROSES is a satisfying introduction to the world of Rhona Macleod and I hope to revisit before too long.
The second and third books in the series are TORCH and DEADLY CODE both published by Luath Press. DRIFTNET is also available from Luath Press but in addition, is being republished by Hodder and Stoughton Ltd in November 2006.
Karen Meek, England