Anderson, Lin - 'Dark Flight'
Excluding the 'Quick Read' BLOOD RED ROSES, this is the fourth Rhona MacLeod novel from Lin Anderson, though it's only the second I've read. I was a bit concerned that I might lose something by not having read the books in between, but it was fine. I guess you could even come at this book without having read any of the others. It certainly works on its own merit.
Plot-wise this draws heavily on a story from a few years back of a young boy's torso found in the River Thames. It was established that the body was of African descent but it was never identified. In this book, a six-year-old boy vanishes from his garden as his mother and grandmother are brutally murdered. Rhona Macleod, who is a forensic scientist, finds an African talisman at the scene of the murder. Then the mutilated boy of a boy is pulled from the Clyde. Is it the missing boy or, if not, can Rhona find him before he becomes the next victim. The search takes her into the secretive world of immigrant Nigerians living in Glasgow who are deeply suspicious of the police and not exactly keen to help.
I liked the book. I especially liked the way Anderson took a story that is fairly common knowledge and wove it into her plot. The characters are rounded and believable and the relationships well drawn. The plot speeds along, from Glasgow to Nigeria and is full of tension and suspense. The scene with the little boy in his garden at the start of the book is particularly gripping.
I think I'm going to have to go back and read the ones I've missed. This is a cracking little series.
Pat Austin, England