Anderson, Lin - 'Final Cut'
FINAL CUT is the sixth novel from Lin Anderson featuring Forensics Scientist Dr Rhona McLeod (not including the novella, BLOOD RED ROSES).
After driving off the road in a snowstorm to avoid hitting a stranger, Claire regains consciousness to realise that her daughter Emma is missing from the back of her car. When DS Michael McNab finds Emma, he asks what she is doing holding a human skull - "I heard them calling me" she says. When the search of the location reveals the grave of a child the search is on for answers.
Meanwhile, Rhona along with her assistant Chrissie are trying to discover the identity of corpse found badly burnt in a skip. As the body has a soldier's ID tag it looks like a simple case to solve (until the DNA turns out to be from another man).
The child's body is identified as having been missing for a number of years. When Emma says that she hears another voice in the woods, McNab and Rhona have mixed feelings when Dr Magnus Pirie the psychologist is brought in to help with the case. Following a visit to the site of the child's body, it appears that more children may be buried here. When McNab finds that the man jailed for the child's murder doesn't know where the body was buried it looks as if the hunt is on for a serial killer – but where are the other bodies? When Claire and Emma disappear, it looks as if the child killer has abducted them to prevent his past crimes being exposed, but could it lead to their deaths?
Examination of the soldier shows a final meal to be borscht from a Russian restaurant in Glasgow that seems to have Russian Mafia connections. When McNab starts to chase down the Russian connections as well as trying to find Claire and Emma, he finds that the Russians are prepared to stop at nothing to keep him from finding out the answers he needs. It also appears that the two cases are connected, but how?
I was first introduced to Lin Anderson at a reading she gave of EASY KILL (her previous book) at the Aberdeen Word Festival. She explained that her use of protagonist Rhona McLeod gave her stories a different angle to crime writing (rather than from the detective's viewpoint). I find that the interaction between McLeod and McNab to be interesting, since there seems to have been some history between them (this is my first Lin Anderson book). The story is very well researched with interesting aspects of Glasgow and forensic medicine introduced. The pace of the story made me want to get to the end to make sure all of the characters were safe. I now just have the other five novels to read to find out the history of Dr Rhona McLeod.
Read another review of FINAL CUT.
Paul Blackburn, Scotland