Muir, T F - 'Life for a Life'
This is the fourth book in a series, featuring Detective Inspector Andy Gilchrist and set in St Andrews, Scotland. Taken together, these books are interesting reads, and this new book is just as good as the previous three. Gilchrist is divorced with two children, lives on his own, is tough and driven by the job, but has a soft side to his character. I have to say that if Gilchrist was a real person, he would surely be suffering acute liver failure by now, given the amount of alcohol he drinks. But of course, this is fiction, and this means he is able to drink copiously and still solve difficult crimes at will.
The prologue describes the attempted escape of a young woman, in the early hours of a Saturday morning, in early December, somewhere near the Fife Coast in Scotland. Shortly afterwards the body of an unknown woman turns up on the Fife coastal path, and Gilchrist, and his new sidekick 'Jessie Janes' go out to investigate. A complex and difficult investigation spanning across much of Scotland follows on from this initial discovery.
Jessie has recently transferred from Glasgow, and much of the book deals with her interesting backstory. The previous three books have involved Gilchrist's own family as subplots, or even as part of the main plot. This book marks a departure from that storyline. Instead of worrying about his own family, Gilchrist finds himself looking out for Jessie instead. And of course, Jessie's background and knowledge turn out to be pivotal for the plot.
Full of banter, trips to the pub, and some hairy situations, building up to a tense and dramatic ending, LIFE FOR A LIFE is a great read, and will certainly keep one entertained.
Michelle Peckham, England